Key ideas in parenting culture studies

Understanding parenting culture

Opening discussion at the founding conference of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, held at the University of Kent in 2007. The speakers were Susan Douglas, co-author of The Mommy Myth, and Frank Furedi, author of Paranoid Parenting. Introductory comments are from Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies.
Watch Ellie’s Lee’s introduction
Watch Susan Douglas

Perspectives on ‘intensive motherhood’

Keynote discussion at the founding conference of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, held at the University of Kent in 2007. The speakers are Rebecca Kukla, author of Mass Hysteria: Medicine, culture and women’s bodies, Stephanie Knaak, author of Breast-feeding, Bottle-feeding and Dr. Spock: The Shifting Context of Choice, Elizabeth Murphy, author of  ‘Breast is best’: Infant feeding decisions and maternal deviance, and Sally Sheldon, co-author of Fragmenting Fatherhood: a socio-legal study.
Watch Rebecca Kukla
Watch Stephanie Knaak
Watch Elizabeth Murphy
Watch Sally Sheldon

From child-rearing to ‘parenting’: what’s new about contemporary parenting culture?

Opening discussion of a two-day seminar held in January 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies. The panellists were Frank Furedi, author of Paranoid Parenting (opening introduction) Hugh Cunningham, author of The Invention of Childhood, Penny Mansfield, from the organisation One Plus One and Jennifer Howze, contributor to Alphamummy, Times Online.
Watch Frank Furedi’s opening introduction
Watch Hugh Cunningham, Penny Mansfield and Jennifer Howze

Changing parenting culture: rescuing adult authority in the 21st century

Closing discussion of a two-day seminar held in February 2010, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies. The panellists were Frank Furedi, author of Paranoid Parenting, children’s author Anthony Horowitz and Jennifer Howze, contributor to Alphamummy, Times Online.
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Parenting science and parenting experts

Policing Pregnancy

Recordings of a day of discussion, ‘Policing Pregnancy: Who should be a mother?’ held in May 2017 at Canterbury Christ Church University

Session 1  ‘Ideal pregnancies’ and the new family planning. Sally Sheldon on ‘The 1967 Abortion Act and the ‘problem pregnancy’ from 7:20; and Jennie Bristow on ‘Constructing the ‘perfect pregnancy’ today’ from 25:50.
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Session 2 Bad bodies, bad choices? Behavioural advice and the pregnant woman.  Ellie Lee on ‘Alcohol abstinence advice and the manipulation of evidence’ from 1:10; Clare Murphy on ‘Obesity, pregnancy, and ‘fat-shaming’’ from 17:50; Sarah Christie on ‘Supporting women who are pregnant and addicted to heroin: why specialist health and social care matters’ from 31:40; and Pam Lowe on ‘Why take the risk? Governing pregnancy through maternal sacrifice’ from 49:05.
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Session 3 Pregnancy surveillance and the medical profession. Salim Al-Gailani on ‘Capturing the womb: Pregnancy surveillance in early twentieth-century Britain’ from 1:10; and Sue White on ‘The social implications of epigenetics’ from 25:15.
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Session 4 Breastfeeding, guilt, and ideals of good motherhood. Charlotte Faircloth on ‘Breastfeeding across time and place: the construction of cultural norms’ from 3:30; Victoria Fallon on ‘The emotional and practical experiences of formula-feeding mothers’ from 23:55; and Fiona Woollard on ‘Am I Harming My Baby? The significance of the default in representations of infant feeding’ from 39:45.
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Monitoring Parents

Recordings of keynote talks given at two-day seminar, Monitoring Parents: Science, evidence, experts and the new parenting culture, held in September 2011. Organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies.
Watch Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology, University Kent
Watch Janet Golden, Professor of History, Rutgers University
Watch Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies
Watch Glenda Wall, Associate Professor Sociology, Wilfred Laurier University, Canada
Watch Stuart Derbyshire, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Birmingham
Watch Stefan Ramaekers, Lecturer in the philosophy of education, University of Leuven

Researching parenting culture

‘Spencer and the Organic Society’
Lecture given by Ellie Lee at the Leeds Salon, exploring 19th Century Social Darwinism.

Is Breast Best?

Open Lecture given by Parenting Culture Studies associate Joan Wolf at the University of Kent on 13th February 2013. Here Joan answers the question, ‘Is Breast Best?’ discussing ideas from her book ‘Is Breast Best? Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood’ (New York University Press, 2011). She also describes the response to her book since its publication, and gives some thoughts about why those who question the importance attached to breastfeeding attract an often hostile response.
Watch Joan Wolf’s lecture
Watch the Q & A session

Parental responsibility as therapy

Presentation by Helen Reece, author of ‘The Degradation of Parental Responsibility’ in Rebecca Probert, Stephen Gilmore and Jonathan Herring (eds), Responsible Parents and Parental Responsibility. It was given at a two-day seminar held in January 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies.
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TV parenting programmes

Presentation by Ciara Doyle given at a two-day seminar held in January 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies.
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‘Parenting’ and ‘parenting culture’

Presentation by Charlotte Faircloth, author of Militant Lactivism?. It was given at a two-day seminar held in January 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies.
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Adult-child relations and the national vetting scheme

Presentation by Jennie Bristow, author of Licensed to Hug? and Standing Up to Supernanny. It was given at a two-day seminar held in September 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies.
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Standing up to Supernanny

Jennie Bristow talks about her book Standing Up to Supernanny at a two-day seminar held in September 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and organised by the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies.
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