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Online media experiences of caregiving fathers: a study of leave-taking fathers in South Korea

Lee, Youngcho (2023) Online media experiences of caregiving fathers: a study of leave-taking fathers in South Korea. Family Relations, 72 (2). 426 - 442. ISSN 0197-6664

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Identification Number: 10.1111/fare.12817


Objective: This work aims to document the different ways in which leave-taking fathers in South Korea engage with online media to address some of their challenges as male primary caregivers. Background: Although involved and caring fathers are becoming more common, childcare responsibilities still remain gendered. To equalize the gendered division of childcare, there is a need to gain a better understanding of the cultural barriers that fathers face in caring for their children and the ways that fathers could be supported, including through informal online communities. Methods: This article qualitatively analyzes semistructured interviews with fathers in Korea as well as posts from blogs by parents of young children about their experiences of taking parental leave and being a primary caregiver for their children. Results: Caregiving fathers experience similar exclusion and isolation in offline and online spheres from both communities dominated by mothers and those dominated by men who do not identify as caregivers. However, by engaging in online media communities for caregiving fathers, they learn to be better caregivers, connect with other fathers, and influence other parents through their online activities. Although such online activities allow fathers to address their various struggles as male caregivers, some fathers voiced reservations and critiques of online communities. Conclusion: In general, most fathers reported positive experiences from online activities that allowed them to address their experiences of exclusion as male caregivers, but there remains room for greater inclusion and accessibility for fathers. Implications: There is a need for online communities to become more diverse, better promoted, more inclusive, and more easily accessible for fathers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2022 15:54
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2024 20:03

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