Thursday, 9 February 2012

Fathers of the new millenium

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ACTIVITY A: Read the following article and do the exercises below.

FATHERHOOD 2.0. By Lisa Takeuchi Cullen & Lev Grossman

DOES BEING MORE OF A FATHER MAKE YOU less of a man? To a group of committed dads assembled one night in a New Jersey diner, the answer is obvious. Sort of. Paul Haley, 38, a father of two, says women look at him when he walks down the street with his kids. "I think it's admiration," he says. Adam Wolff, also 38-with two kids and one on the way ponders what it means to be a man. "Is my man-ness about being the breadwinner or being a good father to my kids or something else?"
            But what does it mean, exactly, to be a man these days? Once upon a Darwinian time, a man was the one spearing the woolly mammoth. And it wasn't so long ago that a man was that strong and silent fellow over there at the bar-a hardworking guy in a gray flannel suit or blue-collar work shirt. He sired children, yes, but he drew the line at diapering them. He didn't know what to expect when his wife was expecting, he didn't review bottle warmers on his daddy blog, and he most certainly didn't participate in little-girl tea parties.
            Today's dads plead guilty to all of the above-so what does that make them? "Men today are far more involved with their families than they have been at virtually any other time in the last century," says Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America: A Cultural History. In the late 1970S, sociologists at the University of Michigan found that the average dad spent about a third as much time with his kids as the average mom did. By 2000, that was up to three-fourths. The number of stay-at-home fathers in the U.S. has tripled in the past 10 years.
             Fathers' style of parenting has changed too. Men hug their kids more, help with homework more, tell kids they love them more. Or, as sociologist Scott Coltrane of the University of California, Riverside, says, "Fathers are beginning to look more like mothers." Many dads are challenging old definitions of manliness. "Masculinity has traditionally been associated with work and work-related success, with competition, power, prestige, dominance over women, restrictive emotionality-that's a big one," says Aaron Rochlen, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas, who studies fatherhood and masculinity. "But a good parent needs to be expressive, patient, emotional, not money oriented." Though many fathers still cleave to the old archetype, Rochlen's study finds that those who don't are happier. Other research shows that fathers who stop being men of the old mold have better-adjusted children, better marriages and better work lives-better physical and mental health, even. "Basically," says Rochlen, "masculinity is bad for you." So are sugar doughnuts and men hate to let go of those too
            But how to forge a new idea of manhood for this brave new two-income world? Hollywood hasn't been much help. From Michael Keaton in the 1983 movie Mr. Mom to Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (1999) to Eddie Murphy in Daddy Day Care(2003), the sight of a man caught in the act of parenting has been a reliable laugh getter-always a good indicator of what the culture considers uncomfortable material. For every Pursuit of Happyness (2006), there's a movie like this summer's Knocked Up, which plays not so much as a tribute to fatherhood as an effort by men to convince themselves that fatherhood is all right and the movie's happy ending is the least plausible thing about it.
            Society hasn't made it easy for newly evolved dads to feel manly either. In Rochlen's study of stay-at-home dads, those who scored low on measures of traditional masculinity professed higher degrees of happiness in their roles-as well as in their marriages, with their children and with their health. But even they worried about how the rest of the world viewed their choice-with some reason. "There's definitely a stigma out there," says Rochlen.
When men take on non traditional roles in the home and family, it also makes a difference to the marriage. Coltrane of UC Riverside and John Gottman at the University of Washington found in separate studies that when men contribute to domestic labor (which is part and parcel of parenting), women interpret it as a sign of caring, experience less stress and are more likely to find themselves in the mood for sex. This is not to say that more involved fathering has erased marital tensions or that it hasn't introduced new ones, as some women resent ceding their role as top parent.
 Today's fathers aren't the men their own fathers were. The new fathers are creating a new ideal of masculinity. "The· emerging and evolving norms of fatherhood and masculinity challenge men to be a different kind of guy," says Rochlen. "But on the positive side, it gives them new opportunity to embrace and enact these dimensions that are good for them and good for their families." It's even good for their emotional health. Coltrane says fatherhood is proving a "safe pathway" for men to develop and explore their nurturing side. "It's not considered wimpy or gay to hug your daughter," he adds. That's something we can all embrace.



ANSWER THE FOLLOWING MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS: Circle the option which best fits

1.                     The fathers interviewed in the first paragraph
a.      suffer a serious identity crisis.
b.      are happy with being like mothers.
c.       thank the support given by other women.
d.      find problems to adjust manliness and fatherhood.

2.                    In the second paragraph the main idea suggested by the narrator is  that
a.      most men weren’t good fathers.
b.      men and women fulfilled  different  roles.
c.       most men didn’t know how to change a diaper.
d.      men were expectant when their wives were pregnant.

3.                    When the writer says “ Today’s Dads plead guilty to all of the above”. He means that dads. (line 14)
a.      stay at home.
b.      are keen on daddy’s  blogs.
c.       are more involved in parenting.
d.      spend more time with kids than their moms.

4.                    According to Aaron Rochlen “masculinity has been traditionally associated with” being…( lines 23-24 )
a.      bossy and competitive
b.      Successful and famous
c.       authoritarian and energetic
d.      the dominant partner and ambitious

5.                    According to Aaron Rochlen we can infer that..( lines 25-31 )
a.      You cannot be a good father without being very masculine
b.      Fathers should get rid of the traditional concept of masculinity.
c.       Fathers who stick to the traditional role have  happier children
d.      Fatherhood and masculinity are two compatible qualities in life.

6.                    What has been Hollywood’s attitude to this new generation of Daddies? ( lines 33-39 )
a.      derisive
b.      tolerant
c.       respectful
d.      sympathetic

7.                    Which sentence summarises best the content of lines. 40 -44.
a.      Fathers with low levels of masculinity are healthier.
b.      Society is willingly embracing this new concept of fathers.
c.       Most stay-up-home dads are happy but worried as to how they are seen.
d.      Most stay-up-home dads are happy with their new role within the family.

8.                    Having a father more involved in house chores and parenting ( lines 45-50 )
a.      originates new marital quarrels
b.      erases all tensions within the family
c.       reduces the stress of the female partner.
d.      forces mothers to cede their role as a top parent.

9.                    How do the narrators make their point in the conclusion? ( 51- 57)
a.      By expressing their views overtly.
b.      By mentioning specialists in the field.
c.       By summarising the main points exposed.
d.      By contrasting the main points of view presented.

10.                What is the main topic of this article ?
a.      Problems and issues of parents.
b.      The implications of the economic crisis.
c.       The clash between old roles and new ones.
d.      Issues of the fathers of the new millennium.

11.                How many main voices or points of view does the text present?
a.      3 ( journalists , mothers & specialists )
b.      3 ( journalists, dads & specialists)
c.       2 ( specialists and fathers )
d.      2 (journalists and mothers)



ACTIVITY B: VOCABULARY EXERCISE.

 FIND IN THE TEXT THE FOLLOWING WORDS OR EXPRESSIONS:


  • A past participle  which comes from a verb which means : To get together as a group/ to bring people together ( line  4 ) _______________________

  • A verb which means :to consider , to think over ( line 6 ) _________________

  • As a noun it refers to a weapon with a long wooden handle and a sharp metal point used for fighting, hunting and fishing in the past, and as verb it means : to throw or push a pointed object through sth/sb: ( line 9 ) ______________________

  • An adjective connected with people who work in an industry or do physical work ( line 10 ) ___________________________________

  • An old and traditional expression which means :to become the father of a child ( line 11 ) _____________________________

  • A verb which means: to stick close to sth/sb, to follow ( line 27 ) _______________

  • An expression which means : to give up an idea or an attitude, or control of something: ( line 31 ) __________________________

  • A verb which means: to put a lot of effort into making sth successful or strong so that it will last, to create or establish, set basis for.. ( line 32 ) ____________________

  • An adjective which comes from the words: evolution and a verb which means:  to develop over time, often many generations, into forms that are better adapted to survive changes in their environment ( line 40 ) ___________________

  • A verb which means: to perform  to carry out, or take part (line 54 ) _______________

  • An adjective ( present participle ) which comes from a verb which means : to care for and protect sb/sth while they are growing and developing: ( LINE 56 ) _______________

  • An adjective which comes from noun which describes a person who is not strong, brave or confident ( line 56 )    ______________

ORAL ACTIVITIES:
A:  IN SMALL GROUPS SUMMARISE THE MAIN POINTS OF THE ARTICLE IN NO MORE THAN 100 WORDS.














B:  IN SMALL GROUPS TRY TO FIND EXAMPLES IN THE TEXT WHICH EXPLAINS THE TRADITIONAL ROLE OF MEN IN SOCIETY AND IN THE FAMILY AND CONSTRAST THEM WITH EXAMPLES OF THESE NEW ROLES OF FATHERS IN THE FAMILY. ALSO ENUMERATE THE PROBLEMS THIS NEW GENERATION OF FATHERS MAY ENCOUNTER.
YOU CAN ADD EXAMPLES OF YOUR OWN.

Traditional Role
New Role
Problems
-Sired the children
-Change diapers
-Other women look at them puzzled













C:         IN SMALL GROUPS DISCUSS THE FOLLOWING:

a.      Is your father the only breadwinner in your family unit? How has this affected the sharing in the household management?
b.      Who does all the house chores at home? Who is in charge or organising and supervising who does what?
c.       Compare your upbringing with your father’s one.
d.      What kind of role did your grandfather play in the family? Can you describe the different family tasks each member of the family did?
e.      What about the future? What kind of parent would you be in the future? What values would teach your children? 

 When you feel you are ready, check the answers for the comprehension questions and see some tips about the oral activities.

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