Centre for Research on Families, Life Course and Generations (FLaG)

Families, Life Course and Generations Research (FLaG) Centre
Sociology and Social Policy
University of Leeds
Leeds, LS2 9JT

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 4432
email: s.irwin@leeds.ac.uk

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Parenting And Family Life

Sarah Irwin

This project started out, in 2008, as an extension project of Real Life Methods (part of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, 2005-08). Subsequently it has been supported by the University of Leeds. Sharon Elley worked with Sarah in the early phases of the empirical project which took, as a point of departure, some puzzles emerging from debates about inequalities and parenting (for a discussion see Irwin, S. (2009) ‘Locating where the action is: quantitative and qualitative lenses on families, schooling and structures of social inequality’, Sociology 43 [6]: 1123-40). Sarah developed a study which combined a survey and a series of semi-structured interviews with parents in 34 families with children of upper primary school and lower secondary school age. 30 of these parents were interviewed again in 2011, and 21 were interviewed a third time, in 2014. The study has explored parents’ experiences, ideas and values over the six year period, as their children have grown up, and as recession, austerity and changing prospects in employment and education have impacted on families. Publications from the project to date include:


Irwin, S. (forthcoming) ‘Class and Comparison: Subjective social location and lay experiences of constraint and mobility’, British Journal of Sociology

Irwin, S. and Elley, S. (2013) ‘Parents’ hopes and expectations for their children’s future occupations’, The Sociological Review 61 [1]: 111-130

Irwin, S. and Elley, S. (2011) ‘Concerted cultivation? Parenting values, education and class diversity’, Sociology 45[3]: 480-495.

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