Bernabo, Laurena, and Jennifer Turchi. “So You Think You Can Parent: Dual-Screen Responses to Single Fathers Tropes in Single Parents.” Men & Masculinities.
Abstract: As the U.S. single-father population expands, we explore how fans of Single Parents (ABC, 2018-2020) responded to its three single-father characters, each of whom evoke a distinct trope. Viewers use Twitter to engage in television programs, and so their tweets provide insight into societal expectations surrounding evolving gendered parenting norms. Using qualitative content analysis, we analyze viewers’ tweets (N=834) and explore the ways viewers addressed these characters’ relationships with children, with their fellow single parents, and with romantic partners. Fans celebrated the new millennial approach to fatherhood and challenged the traditional trope of “inept father,” yet hoped the single fathers would re-couple and therefore cease to be single parents. We conclude that Single Parents fans embraced modern, expanding cultural norms for fathers and caregiving while ultimately demonstrating a preference for two-parent households.