Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Developing the new framework of ‘life-mix’, which considers the mixed patterns of caring and working in different periods of life, this book systematically explores the interplay of productivism, women, care and work in East Asia and Europe.

The book ranges across four key aspects of welfare – childcare, parental leave, employment support and pensions – to illustrate how policies affect women in various periods of their lives. Policy case studies from France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, South Korea, Sweden and the UK, show how welfare could support people’s caring and working lives. This book forms a prescient examination of how productivist thinking underpins regimes and impacts women’s welfare, care and work in both the East and West.

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Gendered Systems of Inaccessibility, Inaction and Irresponsibility
Author: Kay Cook

Drawing on interviews with informants from a diverse range of 16 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Peru, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Nigeria, this book examines how child support systems often fail to transfer payments from separated fathers to mothers and their children. It lays out how these systems are structured in ways that render them ineffective, while positioning women as responsible for their failures.

The book charts the demise of child support as a feminist intervention, resituating it as gendered governance practice that operates by making the system inaccessible, failing to deliver outcomes, and condoning fathers’ irresponsibility. It identifies how the gender order is entrenched through child support failure and offers possibilities for feminist reform.

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Life Histories of Romania’s Looked-After Children
Author: Mariela Neagu

In 1990, disturbing television footage emerged showing the inhumane conditions in which children in Romanian institutions were living. Viewers were shocked that the babies were silent. The so-called ‘Romanian orphans’ became subjects of several international research studies. In parallel, Romania had to reform its child protection system in order to become a member of the European Union.

This book sheds light on the lived experiences of these children, who had become adults by the time the country joined the EU. Uniquely, the book brings together the accounts of those who stayed in institutions, those who grew up in foster care and those who were adopted, both in Romania and internationally. Their narratives challenge stereotypes about these types of care.

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The Norway Model and the Changing Face of Fatherhood
Authors: Berit Brandth and Elin Kvande

Nordic countries lead the way in facilitating better work-family integration through their design of parental leave policies that encourage men towards life courses with greater care responsibilities.

Based on original research, this compelling book offers a novel analysis of the everyday parental practices of fathers and parents in Norway as a way of understanding the workings of labour market and welfare policies, whilst considering how migrant fathers might relate to the expectations such laws generate. The authors showcase how this style of men’s care work constitutes a re-gendering of men by promoting ‘caring masculinities’.

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20 Years of Evolving Family Policy

Naomi Eisenstadt and Carey Oppenheim explore the radical changes in public attitudes and public policy concerning parents and parenting. Drawing on research and their extensive experience of working at senior levels of government, the authors challenge expectations about what parenting policy on its own can deliver.

They argue convincingly that a more joined-up approach is needed to improve outcomes for children: both reducing child poverty and improving parental capacity by providing better support systems. This is vital reading for policymakers at central and local government level as well as those campaigning for the rights of children.

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Recent international developments, current issues and future directions

This volume brings together contributors from 18 countries to provide international perspectives on the politics of parental leave policies in different parts of the world. Initially looking at the politics of care leave policies in eight countries across Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia, the book moves on to consider a variety of key issues in depth, including gender equality, flexibility and challenges for fathers in using leave. In the final section of the book, contributors look beyond the early parenthood period to consider possible future directions for care leave policy in order to address the wider changes and challenges that our societies face.

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The Cultural Politics of Parent-Blame
Author: Tracey Jensen

Bad parenting is so often blamed for Britain’s ‘broken society’, manifesting in sites as diverse as the government reaction to the riots of 2011, popular ‘entertainment’ like Supernanny and the discussion boards of Mumsnet.

This book examines how these pathologising ideas of failing, chaotic and dysfunctional families are manufactured across media, policy and public debate and how they create a powerful consensus that Britain is in the grip of a ‘parent crisis’.

It tracks how crisis talk around parenting has been used to police and discipline families who are considered to be morally deficient and socially irresponsible. Most damagingly, it has been used to justify increasingly punitive state policies towards families in the name of making ‘bad parents’ more responsible.

Is the real crisis in our perceptions rather than reality? This is essential reading for anyone engaged in policy and popular debate around parenting.

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Resources, employment and policies to improve wellbeing

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. Single parents face a triple bind of inadequate resources, employment, and policies, which in combination further complicate their lives.

This book - multi-disciplinary and comparative in design - shows evidence from over 40 countries, along with detailed case studies of Sweden, Iceland, Scotland, and the UK. It covers aspects of well-being that include poverty, good quality jobs, the middle class, wealth, health, children’s development and performance in school, and reflects on social justice.

Leading international scholars challenge our current understanding of what works and draw policy lessons on how to improve the well-being of single parents and their children.

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Everyday Life on a Low Income
Authors: Mary Daly and Grace Kelly

The recent radical cutbacks of the welfare state in the UK have meant that poverty and income management continue to be of great importance for intellectual, public and policy discourse. Written by leading authors in the field, the central interest of this innovative book is the role and significance of family in a context of poverty and low-income. Based on a micro-level study carried out in 2011 and 2012 with 51 families in Northern Ireland, it offers new empirical evidence and a theorisation of the relationship between family life and poverty. Different chapters explore parenting, the management of money, family support and local engagement. By revealing the ordinary and extraordinary practices involved in constructing and managing family and relationships in circumstances of low incomes, the book will appeal to a wide readership, including policy makers.

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Comparing care policies and practice

The five Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, are well-known for their extensive welfare system and gender equality which provides both parents with opportunities to earn and care for their children. In this topical book, expert scholars from the Nordic countries, as well as UK and the US, demonstrate how modern fatherhood is supported in the Nordic setting through family and social policies, and how these contribute to shaping and influencing the images, roles and practices of fathers in a diversity of family settings and variations of fatherhoods. This comprehensive volume will have wide international appeal for those who look to Nordic countries and their success in creating gender equal societies.

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