Award Date

12-1-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Psychology

First Committee Member

Yeonsoo Kim

Second Committee Member

Cecilia Maldonado

Third Committee Member

Patrick Carlton

Fourth Committee Member

ROBERT PARKER

Number of Pages

135

Abstract

Although the traditional conceptual paradigm of an accompanying spouse, sometimes referred to in social science literature as a trailing partner, emanates from a predominantly female perspective, an emerging trend involves men functioning in that role. With America's changing workforce due to the increased labor force participation of women, a postmodern family structure has emerged as the role of men as breadwinners-in-chief in the traditional nuclear family has been steadily eroded. The academic literature on the traditional pattern of wives trailing their husbands to new geographical for better employment and income is voluminous. However, studies on the emergence of males accompanying their partners are under-researched from the male perspective. Based on Adaptation and Coping Congruence Theories, this study adds a significant new dimension to this discussion by exploring and analyzing the actual experiences of males who have accompanied their partners, the coping strategies they employed to deal with their nontraditional role, and the influence of gendered expectations on their attempts to adapt to a nontraditional role-reversal. This study used narrative inquiry as a qualitative research procedure in a non-random criterion sampling with in-depth interviews of the experiences of the 12 participants who are partners of professional women. Moreover, it explored the subjective meanings they ascribed to their nontraditional role. The collected interview data were analyzed to determine what influence the construct of gendered expectations had on the male accompanying partners' adaptation to a nontraditional role. The results revealed that the majority of the participants transitioned to their new role with no or relatively minor adaptation problems. Moreover, at least nine of the men did not embrace a rigid gender role ideology or harbor gendered expectations in the partnership. To the contrary, the majority of the men subscribed to an egalitarian philosophy, felt secure about themselves in their nontraditional role, complemented their partners' lives, and shared equally in the duties and goals of the dyadic partnership.

Keywords

Domestic CEO; Egalitarian Partnership; Gendered ideologies and expectations; Male Trailing Partner; Mr. Mom / Mr.Dad; Primary Breadwinner; Sex role; Spouses; Women professional employees

Disciplines

Family, Life Course, and Society | Social Psychology | Sociology

Language

English


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