My research focuses on generations, education, and parenting culture. Baby Boomers and Generational Conflict (2015) develops Mannheim’s approach to the sociology of knowledge to explore how the Baby Boomer generation is defined and discussed in policy and media discourse, and why the Boomers appear to have become scapegoats for a range of social problems in the present day. The Sociology of Generations: New directions and challenges (2016) extends this analysis to explore contemporary debates about education, parenting, social policy, and intimate life.
I am co-author (with Ellie Lee, Charlotte Faircloth and Jan Macvarish) of Parenting Culture Studies (2014); and (with Frank Furedi) of Licensed to Hug (2010, 2nd edition). I am also author of Standing Up to Supernanny (2009), a short critique of contemporary parenting culture.
I began my career as a journalist, writing a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph in the late 1990s, headlined ‘My Generation’ – before joining the team that launched the online publication spiked. I went on work as a freelance writer and researcher, and editor of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service journal Reproductive Review, while raising my children and studying for my PhD. I continue to write journalistic pieces, appear frequently as a guest on national television and radio, and am an experienced public speaker.