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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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Welcome to our newsletter


This is our second newsletter for the Spring Term 2020, letting you know about events and discussions coming up, and about other research news.


  1. Generations and Society


CPCS Associate Jennie Bristow, and University of Surrey Research Fellow Helen Kingstone, are convening an interdisciplinary network of academics and Third Sector organisations actively working with ‘generation’, to map how this concept can best be used, and to improve understanding of the relationship between generations, wellbeing, and public policy.

  • A workshop focusing on ‘Generational identities and the problem of “presentism”’ will take place on Wednesday 1 April at Canterbury Christ Church University.


  • A further workshop focusing on ‘“Generationalism” and the problem of social policy’ will take place on Wednesday 24 June at the Wellcome Collection, London.



Contact if you would like to be involved in the network. Find out more about the generations network here 


  1. Childhood, Well-being and Parenting


We are delighted to share news of the publication of a special issue of Revue des politiques sociales et familiales  based on papers presented as part of the ‘Childhood, Well-being and Parenting’ project headed by Prof Claude Martin. Articles are in French, with English translations in Part 4, and the special issue includes review of Neuroparenting and the Expert Invasion of Family Life by CPCS’ Jan Macvarish

Find out more about ‘Childhood, Well-being and Parenting’ here 

  1. CPCS@kent


Reminder about our main event this term ‘Pregnancy in the Press’, organised in collaboration with Kent’s Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Reproduction, Kent Law School and bpas.


This takes place on Wednesday March 18th


The event is free but you need to book. For more info and to book a place see here


  1. PhD news


The Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University welcomes applications for a full-time PhD scholarship in Sociology, focused on one or a combination of the following areas:


  • Youth Transitions and Emerging Adulthood
  • Sociology of Higher Education
  • Generational Differences and Relationships


Contact Dr Sarah Cant (


Scholarships comprise a stipend of £13,000 p.a., tuition fee waiver for three years and an expense allowance of £500 p.a. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2020. To be eligible for consideration for a scholarship you must have applied for both a place on the PhD programme, as well as a scholarship, by this deadline. See here for more information.

And congratulations to CPCS Post-Graduate Associates Carmen Kealy and Verity Pooke for passing their PhD Vivas, with just minor corrections ahead. We’ll be sure to publicise any papers from the work in dues course. Abstracts below.


Carmen Kealy

‘Parenting in Ireland: Polish Perspectives on Child-rearing and Help-seeking in a Culturally Diverse Neighbourhood’


Despite Ireland’s ever-increasing cultural diversity over the last two decades, Irish social science research has yet to give sufficient attention to the actual life experiences of migrant parents. As a result, there is a dearth of knowledge of the everyday processes through which migrant parents in Ireland confront cultural differences. This thesis gives voice to Polish migrant parents of primary school children residing in a culturally diverse neighbourhood in Ireland and examines the norms that shape their role as parents, their parental experiences and their help-seeking behaviour. In doing so, it fills a substantial gap in existing knowledge. The study took a cultural approach to parenting research in order to improve our understanding of ethnic minority and migrant parenting. The findings of this study are based on narratives of both Polish migrant parents and support service providers elicited through qualitative methods and a framework approach to analysis. Based on the findings, an Integrated Model of Polish Parenting has been developed. It provides a useful tool for support service providers and policy makers to help better understand Polish parenting, and can be applied to other parenting scenarios, including but not restricted to other migrant parenting scenarios, as well as add to the theoretical knowledge base. The findings show how, by giving due consideration to parenting as a multidimensional and dynamic construct and recognising the independent effects of, and the complex interaction between, culture, social class and minority status, social policy as well as service provision can more effectively support ethnic minority and migrant parents. The findings have important implications for how we should think of authoritative parenting. Although it is associated with the most successful outcomes for children, it is arguably a construct of Western societies. Migrant parents also can face significant challenges adapting to such cultural norms both because of stressors in their post migration environment but also the demands of and commitment to their home country.


Verity Pooke

‘Emergency Contraception as a Social Problem in the Era of Safe Sex’


The Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) is a safe and effective post-coital contraceptive. As its name suggests, though, UK policy purposively suggests it ought only be used in ‘emergencies’. Meanwhile, popular discourses frame the contraceptive as an ambiguous social problem. This thesis addresses the social problem process of the ECP on two levels. For the first level, it opens with a review of the social problem construct running throughout policy and research around the contraceptive. Early chapters demonstrate that this construct produces a dual meaning, in which use of ECPs is simultaneously framed as responsible and irresponsible. Using the framework of the pharmakon, this work then employs a microsociological approach to better understand the second level: how this construct impacts the lived experience of those who come into contact with the social problem of the ECP. A qualitative approach is used to investigate this lived experience. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews are conducted with sexual health nurses who distribute the ECP. Telephone and face-to-face interviews are conducted with women who use the ECP. Finally, focus groups are conducted with women of reproductive age who could access the ECP. Drawing on the findings from these interactions, the framework of the Pharmakon Tightrope is developed and utilised to outline the ‘meaning making’ processes of those who navigate the wider claims made around the ECP. The findings indicate that various actors that come into contact with the ECP are each impacted by its dual meanings, as they all come to make sense of social roles and identities that emerge in their contact with a social problem.


  1. Read and Listen on


Filmed at the Battle of Ideas 2019:


The Battle Over Birth

Ellie Lee (Chair), Blythe Pepino, Ann Furedi, Alistair Currie and Ashley Frawley


Health vs choice? The vaccination debate 

Ellie Lee (Chair), Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, Dr Alberto Giubilini, Emilie Karafillakis and Nancy McDermott

Charlotte Faircloth in Families, Relationships and Society, ‘when equal partners become unequal parents: couple relationships and intensive parenting culture’