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One area in which culture is particularly pervasive is during childbirth and the surrounding period . ( Brownlee 1978, p. 1 98 ) In particular, the role of the father is thought to be especially susceptible to cultural influences because he is less biologically-linked to the infant than the mother. ( Clark 1 978, p. 15 ; May 1978, p. 8 ) However, no studies were found that examine the role of the father from a cultural group during childbirth and the neonatal period. The activities of the father during childbirth, if mentioned at all, are limited to a sentence or two, in accounts of the childbirth experience of different cultures. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the cultural meanings men use to organize their fathering behavior and interpret this experience.



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