Email newsletter

Welcome to the latest Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (CPCS) newsletter. This goes to those who have attended events organised by CPCS, and others who have expressed an interest in the work of the Centre.

Ellie Lee, Director CPCS 

CPCS on-line: Visit our Blog

CPCS on Facebook: ‘Like’ us to find out the latest

CPCS on Twitter: Follow us @CPCS_UniKent

CPCS in Print: Read our book Parenting Culture Studies: If you are based in North America you can order the book here Order from Palgrave in the UK here

Welcome to our second newsletter of the academic year. You can find below information about our upcoming events. We have also provided links and some comment following up on our events held last summer term.

1. CPCS@kent 

Wednesday 22 November, 15.00-17.00

Bad Beginnings? A Qualitative Study of Prison Mother and Baby Units

Cornwallis NW Seminar Room 3, University of Kent Canterbury

Introduction by Rose Mortimer, DPhil Candidate, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, and member of the BeGOOD Early Intervention Project 



In recent years, early intervention (EI) has received growing policy attention within the UK. Interestingly, the children of prisoners are notably absent from UK EI policy. However, there are six Mother and Baby Units within UK women’s prisons where babies and toddlers reside with their mothers for up to 18 months. Although the term ‘early intervention’ is seldom used in this context, in practice a large part of the work done within MBUs focuses on building parenting skills and generally providing women with the knowledge and confidence to become good mums – and by extension – to be and to raise good citizens, and in so doing, build a better society. In this presentation Rose will discuss some of the preliminary findings from her qualitative research with mums and staff in the mother and baby unit within HMP Styal, a women’s prison in the North West of England. Through a combination of interviews, focus groups and participant observation Rose explores how the prison’s goal of rehabilitation is tied to the identities of these women as mothers, what it means to make a woman a ‘good mother’ in this context, and how prison programmes and environments are designed to achieve this goal. A study of prison MBUs allows exploration of key ethical concepts such as autonomy, responsibility, care and justice.


Full details about CPCS@kent here 


2. Regulating Surrogacy – problems and potential solutions

Friday 17 November, 15.00-18.00 followed by drinks reception

Moot Court Room, Wigoder Building, University of Kent 



Dr Noelia Igareda, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Socio-legal arguments to legitimize surrogacy and obstacles and criticisms to its regulation: different national laws but common problems.

Dr Pamela White, Kent Law School

“Desperately seeking surrogates”: Thoughts on Canada’s emergence as an international surrogacy destination.

Dr Julie McCandless, London School of Economics

De-ciphering parenthood law for surrogacy: moving beyond two?

Natalie Smith, trustee of Surrogacy UK and parent via surrogacy

The view from the ground: surrogacy in the UK and the need for legal reform

Andrew Powell, Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, Temple, London

The view from the Bar: surrogacy in the English courtroom


Free to attend, but please register.

Further details on the project are here 


3. Read and Listen on

Book Reviews

  • CPCS’ Jan Macvarish reviews Maurizio Meloni’s Political Biology: Science and Social Values in Human Heredity from Eugenics to Epigenetics for Critical Social Policy.
  • Authored comments
  • Val Gillies, Ros Edwards and Nicola Horsley write about their new book, Challenging the Politics of Early Intervention.

 Media Mentions

  • Ellie Lee, in article in the ESRC’s Society Now and The Guardian, on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act.
  • Comments from CPCS associates in this article on the Zetland website, ‘Imagine if you do not really decide your child’s future’ (in Danish).