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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 

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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 newsletter


1. CPCS@kent


Disruptive Technologies: Fertility control pills in the past, present and future

This is a half-day event, followed by drinks.


Wednesday 20th March 2019

12-6pm, Moot Room, The Wigoder Law Building

Supported by Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Reproduction and Kent Law School.


The event is free to attend, but you will need to register. Details will be circulated soon, and keep an eye on our Facebook page for details.


Programme features:

Opening lecture on the Pill by Dr Lara Marks, Managing Editor, What is Biotechnology? and author of Sexual Chemistry, A History of The Contraceptive Pill 


Discussion of Emergency Contraception by Verity Pooke, PhD Candidate, SSPSSR at the University of Kent [] and Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs, bpas.


Presentation on ‘abortion pills’ – the effect of Early Medical Abortion for the law, by Sally Sheldon, Professor of Healthcare Law at the University of Kent 


Discussants and Chairs to include Dr Claire Jones


2. Call for Papers


Canadian Sociological Association, June 2019: ‘What’s missing from Parenting Culture Studies? The racial politics of contemporary parenting discourse’ (CSF3)

Organizers: Patricia Hamilton, Stellenbosch University; Charlotte Faircloth, University College London. Research Cluster Affiliation: Critical Sociology of Families, Work and Care; Race and Ethnicity

DEADLINE: 28 January 2019

Marked by the publication summarizing some of its central arguments in 2014, Parenting Culture Studies is an emerging discipline that draws from History, Anthropology, Sociology and other social sciences, to examine the recent intensification of the duties of parenting, particularly in Anglo-American contexts. The authors of Parenting Culture Studies argue that contemporary parenting is defined by a fixation with the miniscule details of raising a child, captured, for example, in the debates and controversies that surround the promotion of breastfeeding (Faircloth, 2013: Lee, 2008) and the focus on the early years and neuroscience in recent policy-making (Lowe, Lee & Macvarish, 2015). A narrative of parental determinism runs through contemporary childrearing advice, identifying individual parents as best suited to solving what might be better understood as wider social ills attributed to poor development. The development of this field of study has covered wide ground, particularly emphasising the gendered and classed (Lee, 2008; Gillies, 2006) effects of the intensification of parenting but has paid limited attention to how the demands made on parents might be racialized (Reynolds, 2016). This absence is particularly marked, given the racial histories that underpin the notions of ideal citizenship and optimal development at the heart of much contemporary parenting discourse. For example, to examine the policing of pregnancy without attending to race obscures not only the raced ways in which pregnant bodies are constructed but also misses the unique sites of resistance cultivated by marginalized mothers. This session calls for papers that advance a critical race analysis of parenting, focusing on a particular area of parenting or engaging with the discipline of Parenting Culture Studies as a whole.

To submit an abstract: Click Here 

European Sociological Association. Joint Session: JS_RN04_RN13: “In the child’s best interests?”: Global perspectives on parenting culture, family policy and child well-being (Joint session with RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood and RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives)

Coordinators: Claude Martin, EHESP / CNRS, France,; Ellie Lee, University of Kent, UK,; Charlotte Faircloth, UCL, London, UK,; Cath Larkins, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK,; Ana Nunes de Almeida, Instituto Ciencias Sociais, University of Lisboa, Portugal, 

DEADLINE: 1 February 2019

Whilst ‘Parenting Culture’ and ‘Childhood’ are now well-established fields of social science scholarship, common threads between these two bodies of work have not been significantly explored. Taking ‘child-wellbeing’ as the locus of this comparison, this joint session between RN04 and RN13 aims to bring together novel contributions from scholars working in either field who are interested in creating such connections in global contexts.

To submit an Abstract: Click Here 


3. Family and Kinship


CPCS’s Dr Jan Macvarish and Professor Daniel Monk of the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of Londonhave recently published the full report of findings from their Nuffield-funded study, Siblings, contact and the law: An overlooked relationship? 


Coverage of the findings:

In Family Law and Children and Young People Now 


More about this study will be posted ongoing on our new webpage about ‘Family and Kinship’

‘One of the central features of contemporary parenting culture is its individuated focus on the parent-child relation. As well as considering the relation between the rise of ‘parenting’, and how this influences understandings of ‘family’, an important area for research is the workings of other dimensions of kinship and community, in the current context. This is presently a less developed area of Parenting Culture Studies, and one we hope to take forwards, alongside developing investigation of ‘generations’’.


4. Read and Listen on


‘Identity Crisis’

Frank Furedi discusses some ideas from his new research about identity, including the relevance for how we consider adulthood and childhood. Via this link


Nancy McDermott, ‘Judith Rich-Harris: Against Nurture’


‘Policing Pregnancy: Who Should be a Mother?’

Film of the talks and discussion at the event are now available via this link