We would like to draw your attention to the following publications by Denise McNulty Norton, teacher for English for Social Sciences and English for Academic Purposes at Zessko:
Pure Fatherhood and the Hollywood Family Film (2021) maps father failure and redemption through three decades of Hollywood family films, revealing how notions that align agency with autonomy lead to new conflicts for the contemporary father. McNulty Norton argues that the structuring trope of the failing father in family films of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is symptomatic of that period’s ‘re-gendering’ of parenthood. In their creation of a 'pure' fatherhood that is valorised as authentic for its lack of parental responsibilities, the films serve to challenge the perception that fathering enacted outside the nuclear family structure is fragile. McNulty Norton finds in the films a new essentialism that secures the ‘pure’ relationship to the biological father, strengthening his position in the face of changing family forms.
Also see the following research article: McNulty Norton, D 2021 ‘The Responsibilised ‘Agent’ and Other Statuses’, Sociology, 55(5), pp. 945–958
This article argues that Barry Barnes’ fundamentally social model of agency deserves greater attention for the possibility it offers of moving beyond neoliberal narratives and their individualistic foundations. It advances theoretical understandings of agency by suggesting that, within the framework offered by Barnes’ model, unequal burdens are created by local constructions of the responsibilised individual. Rather than being equally and a priori empowered with agency, individuals are revealed to be unequally impeded in fulfilling current local status expectations of a responsibilised ‘agent’. This article explores the implications of Barnes’ conceptualisation by indicating areas where giving attention to everyday discourses of choice and responsibility opens space to explore how the interplay of intersecting status expectations operates to enable or disable social membership.