Prof Rachel Thomson
|Post:||Professor of Childhood & Youth Studies (Social Work and Social Care)|
|Location:||Essex House Eh 211|
|International:||+44 1273 876689|
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Rachel Thomson is Director of the University of Sussex Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY) www.sussex.ac.uk/esw/circy.
She is a sociologist by discipline,and has worked at the Universityof Manchester, the National Children’s Bureau; London South Bank University and the Open University. Her research interests include the study of the life course and transitions, as well as the interdisciplinary fields of gender and sexuality studies. She is a methodolgical innovator and is especially interested capturing lived experience, social processesand the interplay of biographical and historical time.
Her current research interests fall into the following areas:
Youthful sexualities: young people’s sexual health and well-being, sex education, sexual cultures and the relationship between public representations and and private experience. Longstanding collaboration with Brook, the young people’s sexual health provider, involving research consultancy and co-funded PhD studentship and knowledge exchange exploring young people’s understandings of sexual pleasure (Ester McGeeney).
Biographies and transition: landmark empirical studies on young people’s transitions to adulthood (Inventing Adulthood) and transitions to new parenthood (Making Modern Mothers). Theoretical work on biography and social change including ‘critical moments’ and the ‘remaking of inequality. Pioneering role in mapping and developing ‘temporal’ methods including qualitative longitudinal, intergenerational and revisiting research designs.
Private lives and professionalism: professional boundaries and privacy for those working with children and young people as well as the reconfiguration of public and private spaces in the lives of children and young people in the face of new technologies.
New frontiers in qualitative longitudinal research: A methodological innovation network funded by the National Centre for Reseach Methods running between October 2012 -13, involving a series of 5 seminars and workshops. For further information see http://www.sussex.ac.uk/esw/circy/research/currentresearch/newfrontiers
Face 2 face: tracing the real and the mediated in children's cultures. Funded by NCRM as a methodological innovation project we follow panels of children and young people over time to trace everydy cultures and everyday digital childhoods using multi-media methods.
Inventing Adulthoods: a 15 year qualitative longitudinal study of 100 young people’s transitions to adulthood funded by the ESRC and most recently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. www.lsbu.ac.uk/inventingadulthood
Making Modern Mothers: Longitudinal and intergenerational investigation into the transition to new parenthood, funded by the ESRC through the Identities and Social Action programme and Timescapes www.timescapes.leeds.ac.uk
Editor – Children & Society
Editorial board - Journal of Youth Studies, Gender and Education, Sex Education, Studies in the Maternal
Rachel has supervised the following students and welcomes doctoral applications in areas relevant to her research interests.
Anna Einarsdottir - same sex marriage and civil partnership in Iceland (PhD awarded 2008)
Jo Sanderson-Mann - the practices of motherhood (MPhil awarded 2010)
Naomi Rudoe - the education of school age mothers (PhD awarded 2011)
Ruth Ponsford - the consumption practices of teenage mothers (PhD awarded 2012)
Lucy Hadfield – Becoming a disabled mother – a qualitative longitudinal study (PhD awarded 2014)
Ester McGeeney – Young people’s understandings of good sex (co-funded with Brook) (phD awarded 2014)
Denise Turner - Parental experience of unexplained child death
Claire Bennett - narratives of lesbian asylum seekers
Cythia Okpokiri - parenting values and second generation Nigerian migrants
Tasleem Rana - Mentoring of socially exlcuded inner city young people (co-funded with Kids Company)
Yusef Bakkali - On road: young people and social exclusion
Henderson, S., Holland, J., McGrellis, S., Sharpe, S. and Thomson, R (2007) Inventing adulthoods: a biographical approach to youth transitions,London: Sage.
McLeod, J. and Thomson, R. (2009) Researching social change: qualitative approaches,London: Sage.
Thomson, R. (2009) Unfolding lives: youth, gender, change,Bristol: Policy Press.
Thomson, R., Kehily, M.J, Hadfield, L. and Sharpe, S. (2011) Making modern mothers,Bristol: policy Press.
Thomson, R. (2007) ‘The qualitative longitudinal case history: practical, methodological and ethical reflections’ Social Policy and Society, 6(4): 571-582.
Gordon, T., Holland, J., Lahelma, E. and Thomson, R. (2008) ‘Young female citizens in education: emotions, resources and agency’ Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 16 (2): 177-191.
Thomson, R. (2008) ‘Thinking intergenerationally about motherhood’, Studies in the Maternal inaugural edition 1 (1). http://www.mamsie.bbk.ac.uk/back_issues/issue_one/journal.html
Holland, J. and Thomson, R. (2009) ‘Gaining a perspective on choice and fate: revisiting critical moments’ European Societies 11 (3): 451-469.
Thomson, R., Hadfield, L., Kehily, M.J. and Sharpe, S. (2010) ‘Family fortunes: an intergenerational perspective on recession’ 21st Century Society 5 (2): 149-157.
Holland, J. and Thomson, R. (2010) ‘Revisiting youthful sexuality – continuities and changes over two decades’, Sexual and Relationships Therapy, 10 year Jubilee Issue, 25 (3): 342-350.
Thomson, R. and Kehily, M.J. (2011) ‘Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers’, Gender and Education, 23 (3): 233
Thomson, R., Hadfield, L., Kehily, M.J., and Sharpe, S. (2012) ‘Acting up and acting out: encountering children in a longitudinal study of mothering’, Qualitative Research, 12 (2)
Kehily, M.J. and Thomson, R. (2011) ‘Figuring families: generation, situation and narrative in contemporary mothering’, Sociological Research Online, 16(4) ISSN: 1360-7804
Thomson, R. (2012) ‘Making motherhood work?’ Studies in the Maternal, 3(2). [http://www.mamsie.bbk.ac.uk/ThomsonBio_SiM_3_2_2011.html]
Thomson, R., Moe, A., Thorne, B. and Nielsen, H. (2012) ‘Situated affect in travelling data: tracing meaning-making in qualitative research’, Qualitative Inquiry 18 (5)
Elliott, J., Holland, J. and Thomson, R. (2007) 'Qualitative and quantitative longitudinal research' in Bickman, L., Brannen, J. and Alasuutari, P. Handbook of Social Research Methods, London/Thousand Oaks: Sage,pp228-248.
Rudoe, N. and Thomson, R. (2009) ‘Class cultures and the meaning of young motherhood’ in Graham, H. (ed) Understanding Health Inequalities: Second Edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press: 162-178.
Thomson, R, Kehily, M.J., Hadfield, L., and Sharpe, S. (2009) ‘The making of modern motherhoods: storying an emergent identity’ in Liveable Lives: Negotiating Identities in New Times, Palgrave Macmillan (ed.) Margaret Wetherell.
Thomson, R. (2010)‘Using biographical and longitudinal methods: researching motherhood’, Mason J. and Dale, A. (eds) Understanding Social Research: Thinking Creatively about Method.,London: Sage Publications
Kehily, M.J. and Thomson, R. (2011) ‘Displaying motherhood: representations, visual methods and the materiality of maternal practice’, in Dermott, E and Seymour, J. (eds.) Displaying Families,Basingstoke: Palgrave.pp61-80.
Professor of Childhood and Youth Studies, director of CIRCY (the Centre for Research and Innovation in Childhood and Youth), convenor of the PhD in social work.
Transitions and the lifecourse; young people's sexual cultures, qualitative longitudinal methods, digital childhood.
Rachel contributes to two core modules for the Masters in Childhood and Youth Studies (MACYS): Current Developments in Childhood and Youth Studies and Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies.
She also convenes a module 'Researching Childhood and Youth' that forms part of the MSc Social Research Methods.
McLeod, Julie and Thomson, Rachel (2012) Revisiting. In: SAGE Secondary Data Analysis. SAGE Library of Research Methods , 3 . Sage Publications Ltd, London. ISBN 9781446246900
Thomson, Rachel, Hadfield, Lucy, Kehily, Mary Jane and Sharpe, Sue (2012) Acting up and acting out: encountering children in a longitudinal study of mothering. Qualitative Research, 12 (2). pp. 186-201. ISSN 1468-7941
Thomson, Rachel, Moe, Anita, Thorne, Barrie and Neilsen, Harriet Bjerrum (2012) Situated affect in traveling data: tracing processes of meaning making in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 18 (4). pp. 310-322. ISSN 1552-7565
Thomson, Rachel and Holland, Janet (2012) Memory books as a methodological resource in biographical research. In: Handbook of qualitative research in education. Edward Elgar Publishing , Cheltenham, pp. 313-324. ISBN 978 1 84980 509 4
Henderson, Sheila, Holland, Janet, McGrellis, Sheena, Sharpe, Sue and Thomson, Rachel (2012) Storying qualitative longitudinal research: sequence, voice and motif. SAGE Publications, pp. 16-34.
Kehily, Mary Jane and Thomson, Rachel (2011) Figuring Families: Generation, Situation and Narrative in Contemporary Mothering. Sociological Research Online, 16 (4). ISSN 1360-7804
Thomson, Rachel and Kehily, Mary Jane (2011) Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers. Gender and Education, 23 (3). pp. 233-245. ISSN 0954-0253
Kehily, Mary Jane and Thomson, Rachel (2011) Displaying Motherhood: Representations, Visual Methods and the Materiality of Maternal Practice. In: Displaying Families: A New Concept for the Sociology of Family Life. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 61-80. ISBN 978-0230246133
Thomson, Rachel, Kehily, Mary Jane, Hadfield, Lucy and Sharpe, Sue (2011) Making modern mothers. The Policy Press, UK. ISBN 9781847426055
Thomson, Rachel, Bell, Robert, Holland, Janet, Henderson, Sheila, McGrellis, Sheena and Sharpe, Sue (2011) Critical moments: choice, chance and opportunity in Young people's narratives of transition. In: Researching young people. Fundamentals of Applied Research, 1 . Sage Publications Ltd, London. ISBN 9781848607743
Thomson, Rachel (2011) Making motherhood work. Studies in the Maternal, 3 (2).
Thomson, Rachel (2010) Using Biological and Longitudinal Methods: Researching Mothering. In: Understanding Social Research: Thinking Creatively about Method. Sage Publications Ltd, London, pp. 62-74. ISBN 978-1848601451
Holland, Janet and Thomson, Rachel (2010) Revisiting youthful sexuality: continuities and changes over two decades. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 25 (3). pp. 342-350. ISSN 1468-1994
Robb, Martin and Thomson, Rachel (2010) Critical practice with children and young people. Policy Press , Bristol. ISBN 9781847426819
Thomson, Rachel, Hadfield, Lucy, Kehily, Mary Jane and Sharpe, Sue (2010) Family fortunes: an intergenerational perspective on recession. Twenty-first Century Society: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences, 5 (2). pp. 149-157. ISSN 1745-0144
Thomson, Rachel, Kehily, Mary Jane, Hadfield, Lucy and Sharpe, Sue (2009) The Making of Modern Motherhoods: Storying an Emergent Identity. In: Identity in the 21st Century: New Trends in Changing Times. Identity Studies in the Social Sciences . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 197-212. ISBN 978-0230580879
Thomson , Rachel (2009) Transitions to adulthood. In: Youth Justice Handbook: Theory, Policy and Practice. Willan, Cullompton. ISBN 978-1-84392-717-4
Rudoe, Naomi and Thomson, Rachel (2009) Class cultures and the meaning of young motherhood. In: Understanding Health Inequalities. Open University, Maidenhead, pp. 162-178. ISBN 9780335234592
Thomson, Rachel (2009) Unfolding lives:Youth, gender and change. The Policy Press, UK. ISBN 9781847420510
Holland, Janet and Thomson, Rachel (2009) Gaining a perspective on choice and fate: revisiting critical moments. European Societies , 11 (3). pp. 451-469. ISSN 1461-6696
McLeod, Julie and Thomson , Rachel (2009) Researching Social Change: Qualitative approaches. SAGE Publications, UK. ISBN 9781412928878
Gordon, Tuula, Holland, Janet, Lahelma, Elina and Thomson, Rachel (2008) Young female citizens in education: emotions, resources and agency. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 16 (2). pp. 177-191. ISSN 1468-1366
Thomson, Rachel (2008) Thinking intergenerationally about motherhood. Studies in the Maternal, 1 (1). ISSN 1759-0434
Thomson, Rachel (2007) The Qualitative Longitudinal Case History: Practical, Methodological and Ethical Reflections. Social Policy and Society, 6 (4). pp. 571-582. ISSN 1474-7464