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Childhood and Youth
Institutions and Civic Society
Environment and Sustainability
Health Illness and Wellbeing
Gender and Sexuality


While families and relationships are personal and subjective, these experiences are individually and collectively shaped by institutions of the state and of civil society. Institutions can serve to control and regulate our personal relationships. Yet they can also provide opportunities for interdependencies, social networks and social action.

Our research in this theme explores this complex dynamic in the context of social change. Areas of current and planned research include the changing nature of work and families’ experiences of change; the impact of organisational policies on family practices; how new technologies are reshaping work and family lives; and the shifting role of civil society during austerity.

Of fundamental concern is the on-going impact of economic change, both globally and locally, and the resultant consequences on social institutions and those using them. Our research in this area is multidisciplinary, uses a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, and informs policy and practice across different domains.