Communications professor publishes book

Janice Kelly, Associate Professor of CommunicationsJanice Kelly, Associate Professor of Communications, is co-editor of the book entitled Deconstructing Dads: Changing Images of Fathers in Popular Culture (Lexington Books).  Janice served as co-editor along with Laura Tropp.  The publisher describes the book as:                                             

"an interdisciplinary edited collection of essays authored by prominent scholars in the fields of media, sociology, and cultural studies who address how media represent the image of the father in popular culture. This collection explores the history of representation of fathers like the bumbling dad to question and challenge how far popular culture has come in its representation of paternal figures."

Communication scholars Tropp and Kelly have compiled an important, in-depth collection that explores the ways in which contemporary media representations of fatherhood cultivate expectations about family life, fuel misconceptions about parenting, and promote complicated and contentious ideas about what being a father means. Contributors use literature reviews, audience studies, and content and textual analyses to examine topics such as the culture of fatherhood and the conduct of fathers; sperm donation and lineage; soldiers, military service, and family commitment; stay-at-home dads, caretaking, leisure, and manhood; masculinity in crime dramas and horror films; increased, yet domesticated, portrayals of gay fathers; and how representations of African American fathers in sitcoms and Mexican American fathers on film disrupt and perpetuate stereotypes about these men and groups. Taken together, the essays illustrate striking contradictions in representations of fathers by showing how these representations are progressive, subversive, and hopeful and also restrictive and harmful, among the latter especially those that offer tidy, uncomplicated depictions of fatherhood; reify patriarchy; and perpetuate traditional attitudes toward gender and parenting. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. (CHOICE)

"Deconstructing Dads: Changing Images of Fathers in Popular Culture is a needed corrective to a lack of previous research on media and fatherhood, and a boon to those studying masculinity and representation. It's well written, well organized, and examines mediated representations of modern fatherhood in ways that break new ground and re-examine old approaches critically. Highly recommended." (Brian Cogan, associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Molloy College, author of Deconstructing South Park: Critical Examinations of Animated Transgression)

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