Since I began working at Leeds University, I have become a member of FlaG the Centre for Research on Families, Life Course and Generations. Directed by Professor Sarah Irwin, it supports a really lively research culture and I have already learnt a lot from attending the various seminars, and meeting and working with other members. In the past few months, a small group of FLaG members from across the university have been meeting as a part of the Parenting, well being and inequalities network. The FLaG website has more info, but via a series of four internal workshops, the network and it’s members has focused on:
- The historical and cultural making of contemporary parenting and parent-child relationships;
- Maternal and infant health and well being;
- Young parenting, especially fatherhood / caring practices and social exclusions, and intersections with policy;
- The intersection of parenting and welfare, social work and legal services.
At the third seminar on young parenting, I had the pleasure of giving a brief presentation about the qualitative secondary analysis I have been doing as part of my research fellowship. I focused in particular on the process of orientation and familiarisation to the two Timescapes projects I am analysing. A key part of this was conducting a data sharing workshop with the primary research teams of the projects and I outline the practicalities, affordances and complexities of doing this. The talk was mainly methodological (and I hope to be able to present my theoretical findings soon), but a a second aim was to encourage some discussion within the network about the potential benefits of secondary analysis, by way of developing new insights and understandings broadly relating to parenting, well-being and inequalities. It strikes me that secondary analysis might be fruitful substantively, in terms of gaining an understanding of change and continuities in parenting over time (something that Val Gilles and Ros Edwards at LSBU have already explored – see there discussion of a feasibility study), but also methodologically, opening up possibilities for new and innovative ways of conducting research with families. I also posit that it might be a way in which the network itself might collaborate and seek new theoretical affordances in this area of research.
If you are interested in the network, you can get in contact with Prof, Sarah Irwin (see the FlaG website for her contact details). A copy of the presentation can also be downloaded using the following link: