CFP: Discourses and Lived Meanings of Parenting: Exploring Gender and Diversity in Social Expectations on Parenthood

Call for Papers Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies: “Normative Discourses and Lived Meanings of Parenting: Exploring Gender and Diversity in Social Expectations on Parenthood”.

Several normative assumptions underlie the concept of ‘parenthood’. Societal, political and cultural forces shape beliefs on what it means to be a (good) parent. In turn, these beliefs play an active role in shaping social interactions. This results in normative discourses of what constitutes ‘ideal’ parenthood, generating social expectations as well as personal hopes and desires to meet this ideal.

For some people, satisfying societal norms and expectations is harder than for others. Social and biological factors such as age, marital status, physical and cognitive capacities, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and ethnicity can prevent people from achieving what is considered ‘good parenthood’. It is hence worthwhile to reflect on these norms and expectations, as well as on their performative role.

To explore how different social factors affect normative discourses and lived meanings of parenting, the guest editors – Dr Seppe Segers and Dr Giulia Cavaliere – welcome manuscript submissions for a special issue in DiGeSt, Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies.

The submissions should aim at studying the lived experience and/or the normative and conceptual meaning(s) of parenthood with a focus on gender and diversity. This special issue aims at contributing to the field of gender and diversity studies by inquiring into how parenthood ideals – endorsed by techno-cultural, political, religious, economic and socio-cultural powers – affect the lives and identities of various groups of people. It also aims to analyse how the effects on people’s lives and identity vary depending on ethnic background, social class, age, sexuality, and so forth.

The guest editors welcome both conceptual and empirical papers. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

· Post-menopausal motherhood;

· Single motherhood;

· Critique of heteronormative and two-parent standard;

· Medicalization of the female body and motherhood;

· The so-called motherhood mandate; including social and cultural expectations in favor of genetic motherhood;

· Fatherhood and masculinity;

· Queer parenting;

· Unequal access to assisted reproductive technology;

· Exploring emerging reproductive technologies (e.g. in vitro gametogenesis);

· Parenthood/parenting abilities and disability;

· Selection/editing techniques in assisted reproduction and disability rights critique;

· Religion and parenting expectations; religion and childlessness;

· The normative importance of parenthood;

· The normative importance of genetic ties in parent-child relationships;

· Disruptive technologies that could alter or undermine mainstream notions of parenthood;

DiGeSt is an interdisciplinary and international journal and accepts papers from authors working from all disciplinary backgrounds; including (though not limited to) gender and diversity studies, sociology, anthropology, empirical ethics, bioethics, feminist studies, psychology, political sciences and history…

For more information regarding submissions, please contact guest editors Dr Seppe Segers (Ghent University – Bioethics Institute Ghent), and Dr Giulia Cavaliere (Lancaster University),

For more information on DiGeSt, contact the editors, Dr Ladan Rahbari and Dr Tina Goethals, or visit: The author guidelines can be accessed here:

Please submit your abstracts (250-300 words) for papers by December 18, 2019. The editors will invite full papers on the basis of selected abstracts by mid-January 2020. Full papers are expected to be submitted for independent double-blind peer review by June 1, 2020. The special issue will be published in autumn 2020.

DiGeSt Special Issue; No 7.2 (Fall 2020)

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Department Seminar – From Global Health to Planetary Health: What Future Governance for Health of People and Planet?

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MEMORY / HABIT / ADDICTION – a workshop organized by the Neuroscience and Society Network

28 November 2019
Room 3.09/10
5-11 Lavington Street
King’s College London

Research on addiction shows that habitual behaviours are intimately tied into specific
contexts, objects and memories related to drug experiences. The life and social sciences
have been investigating the relationships between substances, memory and habits since at least the late nineteenth century. In recent years, however, many addiction neuroscientists and psychologists have converged on the view that addiction is a kind of memory process – that neurobiological and psychological changes affected by habits of pleasure and pain can persist for months, years, even decades after all neurochemical traces of drugs have left the body.

Habits, many argue, are not primarily goal-oriented. They are rather, sequences of behaviours, which are cued by contextual factors and objects rather than an expected
reward. For example, while memory of a ‘high’ can remain as part of the goal for cocaine
users, many will continue to use despite no longer feeling pleasure from the drugs they

Memory is central in these discussions, because drugs and the desire for them are
imbued with intense meaning, memory and emotion, that often exist unconsciously. Thus, addiction treatments are increasingly concerned with how ‘drug memories’ can be
destabilised and altered through processes of ‘reconsolidation’.

What then, are the implications of understanding addiction as a problem of memory? To what extent does this point of view challenge established notions of memory and behaviour, pleasure and emotion? What might it tell us about human life and the kinds of living creatures we are? And what are the implications for thinking of context and embodiment and how they affect minds, brains and bodies?

This event is part of a wider programme of activity by the Neuroscience and Society
Network (NSN) to develop and support collaborative exchanges between the
neurosciences, humanities and social sciences. The NSN is funded by King’s Together
which offers seed funding for inter- and multi-disciplinary research projects with the aim of developing these into larger research programmes.

9:00 – 9:10 Introduction
Nikolas Rose, Professor of Sociology, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London

9:10 – 11:15 Provocations

The Memory-Turn in Addictions Neuroscience
Sam McLean, Lecturer, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London

Habit, Materiality and Drug User’s Perspectives (tbc)
Marie Jauffret-Roustide, Research Fellow, French Institute of Health and Medical Research

Memory-Focused Cognitive Therapy
John Marsden, Professor of Addiction Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London

Echoes of Endlessness: Time and Memory for Heroin Users on the Coast of Scotland
Laura Roe, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 1:00 Discussion Session 1

1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:30 Discussion Session 2

3:30 – 4:00 Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:30 Discussion Session 3

5:30 – 6:00 Concluding Remarks

  • Felicity Callard, Professor of Social Research and Director of Birkbeck Institute for Social Research
  • Ross Coomber, Professor of Criminology and Sociology Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, University of Liverpool
  • Kris De Meyer, Research Fellow, Department of Neuroimaging and Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Geography, King’s College London
  • Guntars Ermansons, Teaching Fellow, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London
  • Hannah Farrimond, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Philosophy and
    Anthropology, University of Exeter
  • Timothy Hickman, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Lancaster University
  • Richard Holton, Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge
  • Marie Jauffret-Roustide, Research Fellow, French Institute of Health and Medical Research
  • John Marsden, Professor of Addiction Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London
  • Sam McLean, Lecturer, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London
  • Jesse Proudfoot, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Durham University
  • Laura Roe, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews
  • Nikolas Rose, Professor of Sociology, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London
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Industrialisation and Universal Health Coverage: what are the links?


Speaker: Professor Maureen Mackintosh (The Open University)

Drawing on work with Geoffrey Banda, Julius Mugwagwa, Paula Tibandebage and Smita Srinivas

Higher levels of industrial development are strongly associated with higher incomes per head, but the association with greater and more equitable access to healthcare is not at all strong, especially at middle income levels. India is a key example of industrialisation including success in pharmaceuticals associated with high percentages of private versus public care and very poor access. While Brazil, until recently at least, was an example of more effective linking of industrialisation including the health industries to the expansion of access through the Unified Health System (SUS) and ‘popular pharmacies.’

Some African and Indian colleagues have been working with Maureen for some time on the political economy of linkages between industrialisation in the health industries and patterns of commercialisation, as well as levels of healthcare access in African countries, using the more extensive Indian research on this topic to shape the social science framing. An interesting case is Zimbabwe, which has slid from middle to low income while retaining some industrial capability including pharmaceuticals, but losing the earlier social momentum towards widening healthcare access.

The project team have been generating some historical case studies of how industrialisation in the health industries has co-evolved with commercialisation and commodification of healthcare, starting with Zimbabwe and Tanzania. It is possible to trace ‘spirals’ of co-evolution of industrial and healthcare political economy that generate cumulative improvement or cumulative decline in both industrial development and healthcare access.

External pressures, from forced liberalisation and deindustrialisation through international policies towards funding and trading in medicines, have strongly influenced shifts between upward and downward spirals. Industrialisation in this sense is a poorly recognised social determinant of health access and of the scope for movement towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

About the speaker

Maureen Mackintosh is Professor of Economics at the Open University, and a development economist specialising in the economics of markets for health care and medicines, with particular reference to African health systems. She is the Principle Investigator on a collaborative research project with Tanzanian, Kenyan, Indian and UK colleagues titled, ‘GCRF Inclusive societies: How to link industrial and social innovation for inclusive development: lessons from tackling cancer care in Africa’, funded by the UK ESRC.

Maureen is co-author (with Meri Koivusalo) of ‘Commercialization of Health Care: Global and Local Dynamics and Policy Responses’ (2005) and her recent publications include Mackintosh et al (Eds.) ‘Making Medicines in Africa: the Political Economy of Industrializing for Local Health’ (2016).

*If you are external to King’s, please contact the event organiser to let them know you are coming.

Organisers: Professor Susan Fairley Murray (King’s College London),  Dr Volkan Yilmaz (Bogazici University, DID Newton Fellow) and Dr Benjamin Hunter (University of Sussex).

Co-hosted by the Social Justice Research Group and the Department of Global Health and Social Medecine.

Part of International Development and Emerging Economies Seminars

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GHSM student joins volunteers delivering frontline NHS care as part of pioneering hospital experiment

Global Health & Social Medicine graduate, Deborah Olubiyi recently appeared on the BBC’s The Hospital Experiment looking after patients and assisting staff in busy NHS wards.

The Big Hospital Experiment (main)
Volunteers on the BBC’s ‘The Big Hospital Experiment’

For Deborah Olubiyi, the six-week experience at the Royal Derby Hospital was a great way to gain practical experience to complement the theory and policy knowledge she had learnt during her degree.

None of the 14 volunteers on the BBC’s The Hospital Experiment, aged between 18 and 24, had worked on a hospital ward before and some were yet to have a full-time job of any type. They were given classroom training to absorb how to complete basic observations, such as blood pressure and dementia care. The volunteers were then assigned a clinical team and under direct supervision, applied their newly learnt skills in maternity wards, A&E, paediatrics, elderly care and more

As a recent Global Health & Social Medicine BSc graduate, Deborah had picked up the theory to inform her dream of working in health management and policy. However, volunteering in the hospital helped her to gain practical experience on the frontline.

In episode one, Deborah was sent to the colorectal ward, where patients are treated for diseases of the stomach and colon. Her first assignment was to assist in cleaning a leaking stoma bag. Later in the series, we also see her building rapport with the patients as she cared for them, including those in the end of life ward.

Deborah Olubiyi
Deborah Olubiyi

Young people can be change agents. I wanted to show this, even if I had to step outside my comfort zone to do so. I came to the wards with a global health and policy background, but I wanted to be at the frontline and get an insight into what happens on the delivery end of policy implementation – by getting experience of shifts and speaking to the patients. This, I believe, can better inform my policy work.– Deborah Olubiyi

“My degree allowed me to explore both the social and biomedical science perspective to health. I think it is important to have a holistic understanding of what industry you are going into and not just rely on classroom-based learning. By partaking in the social experiment, I experienced the clinical side of things and now have the ability to tap into those different spheres.”

It may have been a challenge for Deborah to deal with a leaking stoma bag or to know how to care for someone at the end of their life, but she was equipped to recognise the importance of the NHS in the UK and how it impacts multiple lives on a daily basis.

“During my degree, I learnt about the different types of healthcare systems around the world, so I was able to walk into the NHS understanding the benefits and shortfalls of the NHS. I quickly learnt that the NHS is a national treasure – because the ability to have free healthcare at the point of need is a privilege that not many countries have.

“The best thing about the entire experience for me was knowing we were making an impact in the hospital. I really liked coming into contact with all the patients and all the people that I met. I want to thank the staff at Royal Derby Hospital and the BBC for giving me this opportunity.”

So what does Deborah see herself doing next?

“I would like to do a master’s in the near future. Soon, I will also be starting a new role at Parliament. I definitely see myself in health management and policy, where I feel I can make the greatest impact.”

The Royal Derby Hospital announced that it will be adopting the clinical volunteer training programme.

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