Diaspora Fathers Speak: Looking Back to Move Forward, African Fathers’ Views of the Cultural and Educational Dimensions of Fatherhood

By Dolapo Adeniji-Neill.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research draws on a focus group discussion and personal interviews with ten African Diaspora men residing in the United States with the goal of qualifying involvement in their children’s education and upbringing, and establishing the nature of the paternal influence they have in child rearing in a new culture. Extensive research exists on the importance of parental expectations and involvement in children’s education (Adeniji-Neill, 2008; Jacob & Harvey, 2005; Ogbu, 1995; Olneck, 2000; Portes & Zady, 1996; Pearce, 2006; Waters & Sykes, 2009; NCES, 1997). However, relatively few studies have examined the individual contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s upbringing and education; and a much smaller body of work exists about the role of African diaspora fathers in their children’s schooling. This is not due to lack of interest, evidence points to the contrary. Historically, fathers were the “hidden parent.” They were assumed to be the breadwinners of two-parent families, but of limited importance in non-financial aspects of children’s well-being and development (NCES). Reflecting on this bias, this study examines through qualitative research the Diaspora fathers’ role in parenting, the conduct of fatherhood, and cultural and educational dimensions as well as cultural conflicts, nostalgia for home and intergenerational contestation that are inherent in parenting as immigrants.

Keywords: Fathers, Fatherhood, Diaspora, Diversity, Education, Educational Expectations, Qualitative Research

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp.105-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 817.665KB).

Dr. Dolapo Adeniji-Neill

Assistant Professor, School of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, USA

Dr. Dolapo Adeniji-Neill is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, U.S.A. Her research interests and work include Sociological and Cultural implications influencing individual and group educational opportunities in the U.S and internationally; African Philosophy; Class and Gender influences in K-12 and higher education settings; Immigrant Education; Multiculturalism.

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