Defending what matters about private and public life

Publications and Projects

2019 SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies, edited by Erica Burman and Daniel Cook, five entries on parenting and parenting culture.

Nov 2018 ‘Siblings, Contact and the Law: An Overlooked Relationship?’ Final Report for The Nuffield Foundation, co-authored with Daniel Monk.
Macvarish, J. (2016) Neuroparenting: The Expert Invasion of Family Life (London: Palgrave Macmillan).

Lee, E.,  Bristow, J., Faircloth, C. and Macvarish, J. (2014) Parenting Culture Studies (London: Palgrave Macmillan).

Lee, E., Sheldon, S. and Macvarish, J. (2018) ‘The 1967 Abortion Act fifty years on: Abortion, medical authority and the law revisited’. Social Science and Medicine [Online] 212:26-32.

Lee, E., Macvarish, J. and Sheldon, S. (2017) ‘After the ‘need for…a father’: ‘The welfare of the child’ and ‘supportive parenting’ in UK assisted conception clinics’. Families, Relationships and Societies [Online] 6:71-87.

Macvarish, J., Lee, E. and Lowe, P. (2015) ‘Neuroscience and family policy: What becomes of the parent?’, Critical Social Policy 35(2):248-269.

Sheldon, S., Lee. E. and Macvarish, J. (2015) ‘“Supportive Parenting”, Responsibility and Regulation: the Welfare Assessment under the reformed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990)’, Modern Law Review 78(3): 461-92.

Lowe, P., Lee, E. and Macvarish, J. (2015) ‘Biologising parenting: Neuroscience discourse, English social and public health policy and understandings of the child’, Sociology of Health and Illness, February.

Lowe, P., Lee, E., Macvarish, J. (2015) ‘Growing better brains? Pregnancy and neuroscience discourses in English social and welfare policies’, Health, Risk and Society, January.

Macvarish, J., Lee, E. and Lowe, P. (2014) ‘The ‘First Three Years’ Movement and the Infant Brain: A Review of Critiques’, Sociology Compass, 8(6):792-804.

Lee, E.J., Macvarish, J. and Sheldon, S. (2014) ‘Assessing Child Welfare Under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008: A Case Study in Medicalization?’, Sociology of Health and Illness, 36(4).


APR 2019 Sociol-Legal Studies Association conference, Leeds. Paper presented with Daniel Monk Understanding Siblings: A Socio-Legal Perspective.

DEC 2018 ESHRE Seminar, Parental Determinism and Child Well-Being? invited presentation with E.J. Lee.

NOV 2018 Association of Lawyers for Children, Siblings, Contact and the Law, invited presentation.

MAY 2018, University of Leuven, Belgium, conference, How Important Is Neuroscience for Educators?, presentation Raising Children with the Brain in Mind: Is Neuroparenting a Problem?

MAY 2018, Tampere University, Finland, Family Research Conference: Life Course and Generations, presentation The Challenges of Raising the Next Generation in the Contemporary Culture of ‘Parenting’

JUN 2017, University of Oxford, BEGOOD conference, Ethics and Early Intervention in Mental Health: Promoting Change through Research, presentation The Risks of Pathologising Normal Family Life

JUN 2017, Ehess Paris, CNRS (The French National Research Center), presentation Neuroparenting, Pregnancy and the Regulation of Maternal Responsibility.


2017- ‘Siblings, Contact and the Law: An Overlooked Relationship?’, School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, funded by The Nuffield Foundation. The first study about siblings and the law in England and Wales. 

2016 Abortion Doctors, Professional Identity and the Law, University of Kent. Interviewing senior medical professionals about their experiences working in the field of abortion. Funded by the University of Kent Faculty Research Fund. With Ellie Lee and Sally Sheldon, University of Kent.

2016 Informed Consent in Infertility Treatment Services, University of Kent. Interviewing leading figures in the fertility sector about issues of scientific evidence and informed consent. Funded by The Wellcome Trust. With Ellie Lee and Sally Sheldon, University of Kent.

2012-13 Biologising Parenting: Neuroscience Discourse in English Social and Public Health Policy, University of Kent. Analysing social and public health policy documents, literature review of ‘neuro-critical’ scholarship and historical literature on ‘child-saving’. Funded by the Templeton Foundation/ Faraday Institute’s, ‘Uses and Abuses of Biology’ Programme. With Ellie Lee, University of Kent and Pam Lowe, Birmingham University.

2011-2012 Assessing Child Welfare under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: The New Law, Analysing the impact of reforms to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990), University of Kent. Interviewing clinicians, clinic counsellors and nursing staff to exploring the working through of the revised Welfare of the Child assessment in the fertility sector. Funded by the ESRC. With Ellie Lee and Sally Sheldon, University of Kent.

2012 Managing Uncertainty within NICE Technological Appraisals: The Nature and Impact of the ‘Social Features’ of Decision-Making. Providing maternity cover. Funded by the ESRC. With Michael Calnan, Patrick Brown and Ferhana Hashem, University of Kent.

2011 The Applicability of Theories of Self-Efficacy to Young People’s Risk-Taking: A Literature Review. Funded by the Health and Europe Centre, INTERREG IV A. With Jenny Billings, University of Kent.

2009 Am I Bovvered? Teenage girls’ participation in sport. An action research project involving working with young people to devise and evaluate alternative sporting activities. Funded by the Big Lottery. With Jennie Billings, University of Kent.

2005-07 Teenagers’ Views and Experiences of Sex and Relationships Education, Sexual Health Services and Family Support Services in Kent. Longitudinal interviewing with young parents, survey work with school pupils and focus groups with looked-after children for a large, regional research project into young people’s sexual health and teenage pregnancy. Funded by the Kent Teenage Pregnancy Partnership. With Jenny Billings, University of Kent.

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