This book explores the experiences of new fathers struggling with mental health difficulties and focuses on the role of digital media as part of their approaches to coping. Hodkinson and Das show how the ways new fathers are positioned by society can make it hard for them to recognize their struggles as legitimate, or reach out for help. The book explores a range of different uses of digital communication by struggling fathers, from selective forms of disconnection, to the seeking out of online information or support. The authors highlight the significance even of the smallest digital acts as part of coping journeys and outline the development of tentative or hidden attempts to reach out for help, and the potential for supportive digital interactions to emerge. The book’s conclusions highlight the agentic possibilities digital media might offer for struggling new fathers, while emphasizing the need for improvements in how they are prepared and supported by health services and others.
1 Introduction.- 2 Repertoires of Illegitimacy.- 3 Paternal Struggles and Difficulties Seeking Support.- 4 Mediated Coping: A Spectrum of Digital Engagement.- 5 Affective Coding: Masked and Hidden Approaches to Self-Disclosure Online.- 6 Mediated Relationships, Ties and Intimacies.- 7 Conclusion.
Dr Paul Hodkinson is Reader in Sociology at the University of Surrey, UK. His research encompasses fathers and fatherhood, youth cultures, and the role of digital media in contemporary societies.
Dr Ranjana Das is Reader in Media and Communication at the University of Surrey, UK. She researches uses and consequences of communication technologies, with a recent focus on parenthood. She explores what the digital turn has meant for new mothers in her latest book: Early Motherhood in Digital Societies (2019).
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