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 

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Welcome to our newsletter


1. Battle of Ideas 2018

We are delighted to be again involved with the Battle of Ideas this year; the annual weekend of discussion and debate held at The Barbican, London. It’s on 13 and 14 October. We have programmed discussions taking place as part of these two day-long strands, both happening on Sunday 14.


Modern Family 

Sessions are: ‘Adoption: Making or Breaking Families?’; ‘Surrogacy: Undermining Motherhood?’; ‘Mum, Dad and Teenage Kicks’; ‘Grandparents: Role Models or Bad Influences?’; and ‘Looking after Granny: the Crisis of Elderly Social Care’.

Sexual Revolutions 

Sessions are: ‘Consent Classes : from Schools to Parliament and Beyond’ ;’Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby’; ‘Is Porn Corrupting Sex?’; ‘Contraception: a hard pill to swallow?’; and ‘Automatic Lovers: Should we be Worried About Sex Robots’.


CPCS Associates are also contributing to panels:

‘How Fear Works’

‘The F Word: What’s the Point of Feminism Today?’ 

‘Research or Perish: The Crisis of Research Today’

‘From Safeguarding to Grooming Gags: Is Child Protection Working?’

Ticketing Information here: Battle of Ideas tickets

2. CPCS@kent

This term and next we are focussing on debates around pregnancy, fertility and technology, and highlighting the research being done by Kent Colleagues, at various career stages. All welcome, more details to follow.


Autumn Term

The Business of Birth Control: Contraceptives as Commodities before the Pill

Introduced by Dr Claire Jones, Lecturer in the History of Medicine

Wednesday 12 December, 15.00-17.00

Cornwallis East Seminar Room 1


Background Reading:

‘Under the Covers? Commerce, Contraceptives and Consumers in England and Wales, 1880–1960’


Followed by end of term drinks.


Spring Term


Disruptive Technologies: Fertility control pills past, present and future

This is a half-day event, followed by drinks, with University of Kent contributions from Professor Sally Sheldon, Professor of Healthcare Law, on Early Medical Abortion and Verity Pooke, PhD Candidate, SSPSSR on Emergency Contraception. Lara Marks will be our invited speaker, Managing Editor, What is Biotechnology? and author of Sexual Chemistry, A History of The Contraceptive Pill.


Wednesday 20 March 2019

12.00-18.00, Moot Room, The Wigoder Law Building

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


3. New publications

Feeding Children Inside and Outside the Home is published by Routledge this month. This collection, brought together and edited by Vicki Harman, Benedetta Cappellini and Charlotte Faircloth, emerged out of this event held in London in 2016.  

‘The book reveals how children, mothers, fathers, teachers and other adults involved in feeding children, understand, make sense of and navigate ideological discourses of parenting, health imperatives and policy interventions. Revealing the material and symbolic complexity of feeding children, and the role that parenting and healthy discourses play in shaping, perpetuating and transforming both feeding and eating, the essays show how micro and macro aspects are at play in mundane and everyday practices of family life and education’. 

More details here.


In 2016, CPCS was delighted to host the international conference ‘Parenting and Personhood: Cross-cultural perspectives on expertise, family life and risk management’ in collaboration with researchers from the Uni Research Rokkansenteret, Norway. They presented about their research, alongside a host of other presentations.


Here are some publications now available based around their work:

Bendixsen and Danielsen, ‘Other people’s children: inclusive parenting in a diversified neighbourhood in Norway’

Social Policy and Society, 2018, 17(3): Parenting Support in the Nordic Countries: Is there a Specific Nordic Model? Special issue/ themed section, edited by Astrid Sundsbø and Ella Sihvonen with contributions from all Nordic countries.


4. Read and Listen on


Jan Macvarish discusses ‘neuroparenting’

Janet Golden discusses her new book Babies Makes Us Modern


Latest by Frank Furedi, How Fear Works 

See also ‘The Only Thing We Have to Fear’


Ellie Lee, Sally Sheldon and Jan Macvarish, ‘The Abortion Act Fifty Years On’, in Social Science and Medicine. See here for more about this research.


Jan Macvarish, ‘Stop Putting Pressure on New Mums’

Frank Furedi, ‘A War that Begins in the Nursery’

Ashley Frawley, ‘The Dystopia of The Child Protection Industry’

Martin Robb, ‘Fatherhood, families and intensive parenting: reflections on two recent conferences’