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Palgrave Macmillan

Parenting Culture Studies

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  • © 2014


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About this book

Why have the minutiae of how parents raise their children become routine sources of public debate and policy making? This book provides in-depth answers to these features drawing on a wide range of sources from sociology, history, anthropology and psychology, covering developments in both Europe and North America.      

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Table of contents (11 chapters)

  1. Introduction

  2. Parenting Culture

  3. Essays on Parental Determinism


“This book gives an account of western parenting culture in the 21st century and its historical development. … The authors aim to highlight parental determinism as a key issue of modern parenting culture which has provided a catalyst for transforming the everyday mundanities of parenting into issues of concern for the structures and institutions of western society. In these endeavours the authors, undoubtedly, succeed and, in doing so, provide an accessible yet scholarly read.” (Victoria Earley, Sociology, Vol. 50 (3), June, 2016)

“This text would be useful for those new to parenting studies as it provides a clear and accessible overview of the field. The bullet pointed chapter summaries at the end of each chapter and the beginning of each essay makes the book a useful educational resource … . the detailed analysis and stimulating arguments in relation to specific areas of contemporary parenting culture makes the text worthwhile reading for those already knowledgeable of the existing literature.” (Michelle Webster, The Sociological Review, Vol. 63 (1), May, 2015)

“The authors of this timely collection are in the forefront of analyses of contemporary parenting. The discourses and practices of parenting are rarely held up for sustained critique. Readers of this book will be challenged to question the politics and rationales of parenting cultures in this provocative and cogently argued book.” (Deborah Lupton, University of Sydney, Australia)

“This terrific collection of essays probes and destroys many of the reigning orthodoxies that have turned 21st century parenting into an activity marked by cultural and individual anxiety and the over-involvement of experts and policymakers. The scholars contributing to this volume together make a profound contribution to the study of parenting culture.” (Janet Golden, Rutgers University, USA)

“This is a much needed book that challenges popular political rhetoric about parents and families. The authors accurately capture the ‘double bind’ that affects parents as they try to meet all the expectations put upon them. Various parenting ideals are skewered and dispatched by the authors - if only more educators and politicians would read this!” (Charlotte Haines Lyon, York St John University, UK)

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, UK

    Ellie Lee, Jennie Bristow, Charlotte Faircloth, Jan Macvarish

About the authors

Ellie Lee is Reader in Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent, UK. She has previously published Abortion, Motherhood and Mental Health.
Jennie Bristow is a journalist and PhD Candidate at the University of Kent, UK. She has previously published Standing up to Supernanny (with F. Furedi) and Licensed to Hug.
Charlotte Faircloth is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, University of Kent, UK. She has previously published Militant Lactivism? and co-edited Parenting in Global Perspective
Jan Macvarish is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent, UK.

Bibliographic Information

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