Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Linda Enders


Research and theorizing about fathering has lacked a critical focus on issues of power, privilege, and accountability in parenting relationships. The purpose of this dissertation is to introduce some new methodological issues for working with fathers that are capable of addressing these important issues. It is proposed that because of the problems of positionality and power in relationships it is critical for research with fathers to engage in a deconstructive process of the ways that power and positionality affect the lives of children and women. A new methodology of deconstructive knowledge is presented to help address concerns with positionality. Important ethical and methodological issues are also raised regarding the problem of men researching men. New proposals for action are presented to help in this area by recruiting women as consultants to the project. New proposals for researcher accountability are also addressed and enacted throughout the research process. Four fathers were invited to participate in this new methodology. The main focus of analysis was to demonstrate the process of this new methodology as illustrated in the transcripts. Special attention is paid to the interactions between the father participants and the researcher and to the very personal effects of this research on the lives of the fathers and researcher.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Thomas Dale Carlson



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

223 pages