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Social Inclusion Volume 14


Involved Fatherhood in European Post-Socialist Societies


Hana Hašková (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences), Alenka Švab (University of Ljubljana), Ivett Szalma (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence / Corvinus University of Budapest), and Judit Takács (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence)

Submission of Abstracts: 15-31 December 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 June 2025
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2026


During the last decades, fathers have taken up an increasingly prominent role in childrearing in Europe. Active fathers are now increasingly committed to nurturing and being involved with their children emotionally as well as practically. However, the extent to which fathers are involved in their children’s lives is not only a function of individual factors but is also culturally dependent and embedded in the relevant social and family policy contexts.

At the individual level, age and education matters, as well as gender role attitudes. Previous research shows that fathers with more egalitarian gender role attitudes demonstrate more involvement with their children than fathers with more traditional attitudes. At the country level, cultural norms and social policies can also influence father practices.

The “fatherhood revolution” started in 1993, when Norway introduced the father’s quota, leading to a substantial increase in Norwegian fathers’ use of parental leave. Since then, several European countries implemented the Nordic father’s quota model, such as Sweden, Iceland, Germany, and Portugal. However, this has not been the case in most post-socialist countries, even though in many of these countries the main aim of family policy is to increase the number of births, and studies have shown that fathers’ increased involvement in family life, including household chores and childcare, has the potential of increasing both fertility and maternal employment.

The limited involvement of fathers in most post-socialist societies can be explained by several, often interrelated factors such as family policies that do not support gender equality, workplace cultures that discourage men from taking on parenting responsibilities, the gender gap in earnings and earnings potential, and persistent social expectations that fathers have greater responsibility for breadwinning and mothers for caregiving. Furthermore, in the region, we can observe that some family constellations, such as those including ethnic minority fathers, gay fathers, or non-resident fathers are frequently excluded from the local versions of the normative fatherhood concept. Thus, we are interested in studies that examine the involved fatherhood in these minority groups too. It should also be noted that post-socialist countries are not to be seen as representing a unified category, as there are certainly cultural, social, political, etc., differences making the phenomenon of actively involved fatherhood unique in each of them.

In this thematic issue, we welcome articles with a focus on examining involved fatherhood practices that highlight specific aspects of involved fatherhood in post-socialist societies. We are also interested in those comparative empirical analyses that can highlight the different features of fatherhood involvement in this region and other parts of Europe.