Concerns about the increase in fatherless families and the negative effects on children led to calls for social change from politicians, several national commissions, and a variety of articles and books. By the end of the 1990s, there were indications that a fatherhood movement was being formed as conferences were sponsored by organizations at the national, state, and local levels. This chapter evaluates whether recent actions to promote fatherhood represent a social movement, in terms of the identification of a core idea, the broad appeal of the issue, the distinction of the movement from other civil and social movements, the existence of an organizational structure, and a strategy for measuring success. The author concludes that the fatherhood movement is in the early stages of development, grounded in ideas, grassroots support, and committed leadership. However, there is no one organization taking control and no consensus on a core message or agenda. Despite these problems, the author urges advocates to continue to participate in the formation of the fatherhood movement. 32 notes.
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