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What is a Parent

A Socio-Legal Analysis

By: Andrew Bainham, Shelley Day Sclater, Martin Richards
Media of What is a Parent
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Published: 01-07-1999
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 312
ISBN: 9781841130583
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP : £85.00
 

: 14 -21 days

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Loren Epson

About What is a Parent

This collection of essays is the product of a series of seminars held at the University of Cambridge in 1998 under the auspices of the newly formed Cambridge Socio-Legal Group. The book presents an interdisciplinary exploration of the nature of parenthood and its various manifestations in contemporary society. It is divided into three sections dealing respectively with defining parenthood,new issues in contemporary parenting and parenting post-divorce. Each contributor addresses the central question 'What is a Parent?' from the perspective of his or her own discipline, thus bringing together ideas about parents derived from law, sociology, psychology, biology and criminology.
Despite the familiar and apparently obvious answer to this question the notion of 'parent' emerges from the analysis as a contested concept. Definitions are various and fluid, parenting practices are by no means fixed, and ideologies which frame who parents are and what they do are subject to disruptions from several quarters. In short, the essays in this book show the ways in which 'parent' like 'child' is a term with a shifting meaning and 'parenthood' refers to a fluid set of social practices which are historically and culturally situated.

Contributors: Andrew Bainham, Carol Brayne, Stuart Bridge, Rachel Cook, Shelley Day Sclater, Margaret Ely, Loraine Gelsthorpe, Susan Golombok, Jack Goody, Jonathan Herring, Felicia Huppert, Allison James, Martin Johnson, Bridget Lindley, Mavis Maclean, Juliet Mitchell, Ros Pickford, Martin Richards, Wendy Solomou, Candida Yates.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
SHELLEY DAY SCLATER, ANDREW BAINHAM AND MARTIN RICHARDS

PART I. DEFINING PARENTHOOD

2. Parentage, Parenthood and Parental Responsibility: Subtle, Elusive Yet Important Distinctions
ANDREW BAINHAM

3. A Biomedical Perspective on Parenthood
MARTIN JOHNSON

4. Assisted Reproduction and the Legal Definition of Parentage
STUART BRIDGE

5. The Welfare Principle and the Rights of Parents
JONATHAN HERRING

6. Family or Familiarity?
JULIET MITCHELL AND JACK GOODY

PART II. NEW ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY PARENTING

7. Donating Parenthood: Perspectives on Parenthood from Surrogacy and Gamete Donation
RACHEL COOK

8. Unmarried Fathers and the Law
ROS PICKFORD

9. Lesbian Mother Families
SUSAN GOLOMBOK

10. Parents: A Children's Perspective
ALLISON JAMES

11. State Intervention and Parental Autonomy in Children's Cases: Have We Got the Balance Right?
BRIDGET LINDLEY

12. Youth Crime and Parental Responsibility
LORAINE GELSTHORPE

PART III. PARENTING POST-DIVORCE

13. The Parent-Child Relationship in Later Life: the Longer-Term Effects of Parental Divorce and Remarriage
WENDY SOLOMOU, MARGARET ELY, CAROL BRAYNE AND FELICIA A. HUPPERT

14. Parents and Divorce: Changing Patterns of Public Intervention
MAVIS MACLEAN AND MARTIN RICHARDS

15. The Psycho-Politics of Post-Divorce Parenting
SHELLEY DAY SCLATER AND CANDIDA YATES

Reviews

“It is important to acknowledge the centrality of the central premise of this book. We can no longer assume that there is unanimity on what or who is a parent. 'Family' arrangements continue to diversify and all those involved in working with men, women and children need to be aware of the potential legal, social and psychological ramifications.” –  Brid Featherstone, Child and Family Social Work

“Many of the chapters in this book offer new insights into the nature and practices of parenting and others provide useful reviews and syntheses on existing researchthis is a book that will be of interest to students and researchers focusing on the family in the fields of law, sociology and psychology.” –  Felicity Kaganas, Social and Legal Studies

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