From March 2004, CAVA e-news will replace the older CAVA Newsletter. A monthly email containing information about our activities at CAVA will be sent to those on our mailing list.



The new issue of Social Policy and Society features a special themed section by CAVA members. Guest edited by Alan Deacon and Fiona Williams, contents include:

Introduction: Themed Section on Care, Values and the Future of Welfare
Alan Deacon, Fiona Williams

The Social Patterning of Values and Rationalities: Mothers' Choices in Combining Caring and Employment
Simon Duncan and Sarah Irwin

Changing Landscapes of Family Life: Rethinking Divorce
Carol Smart

Why we should Care about Friends: An Argument for Queering the Care Imaginary in Social Policy
Sasha Roseneil

Managing Kinship over Long Distances: The Significance of ‘The Visit’
Jennifer Mason

Care, Values and Support in Local Self-help Groups
Fiona Williams

Care, Values and an Uncaring Media
Angela Phillips

Different Interpretations of Agency within Welfare Debates
Alan Deacon

Some Useful Sources
Keleigh Groves

Subscription is available from Ingenta services or through the publishers website.


Carol Smart at Labour’s Party Conference
September 2004

CAVA’s deputy director Carol Smart today addresses NCH’s Labour Party Conference meeting in Brighton. Sharing the platform with the Minister for Children Margaret Hodge, Guardian columnist David Aaronovitch, and NCH Chair of Trustees Gordon Edington, Carol will be debating whether we are doing enough to help children when their parents split up.

Click here to see NCH’s press release: Charity warns children are stuck in the middle of parents’ struggles


Parent Problems 2: Looking Back on our Parent’s Divorce

Young Voice has published ‘Parent Problems 2’ by Bren Neale and Jennifer Flowerdew. The book reports on children’s long-term experiences of their parents’ divorce. The book suggests that the public debate on divorce needs to ‘move on’.

Bren – who worked on CAVA’s Families after Divorce strand – said of the book: “What emerged from previous research, 15 years earlier, were sad tales of children desperately wanting their parents to get back together. But the children in our study said, ‘Oh, we are just from ordinary divorced families’. If we are not careful, we can create a millstone around their necks. We have to ‘de-centre’ divorce. At the moment we see it as the central thing that defines children”.

Click here to read more about this publication




The new issue of Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society features papers from CAVA’s 4th International Seminar held in 2002. Guest edited by Fiona Williams and Sasha Roseneil, contents include:

Introduction: New Contexts for Collective Action: The Politics of Parenting, Partnering and Participation
Sasha Roseneil and Fiona Williams

Part 1: Collective Interventions around Parenting and Partnering

Shifting Representations of Citizenship: Canadian Politics of ‘Women’ and ‘Children’
Alexandra Dobrowolsky and Jane Jenson

Public Values of Parenting and Partnering: Voluntary Organizations and Welfare Politics in New Labour's Britain
Fiona Williams and Sasha Roseneil

Collective Organizing and Claim Making on Child Care in Norden: Blurring the Boundaries between the Inside and the Outside
Solveig Bergman

Domesticating Masculinity and Masculinizing Domesticity in Contemporary U.S. Fatherhood Politics
Anna Gavanas

Part II: Public Participation, Politics, and Policy in New Labour's Britain

Power, Participation, and Political Renewal: Theoretical Perspectives on Public Participation under New Labour in Britain
Marian Barnes, Janet Newman, and Helen Sullivan

Some Everyday Experiences of Voluntarism: Social Capital, Pleasure, and the Contingency of Participation
John Michael Roberts and Fiona Devine

Feminist Politics and Devolution: A Preliminary Analysis
Nickie Charles

Lesbian and Gay Politics and Participation in New Labour's Britain
Jean Carabine and Surya Monro

Subscription is available from Ingenta services or from the publishers’ website:



Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women says: "I welcome this report, and in particular the research results which underline the deep commitment that people demonstrate towards their friends and loved ones, irrespective of the form their family takes. Government policy should always work with the grain of people's lives. That's why we have put in place a range of policies which help to provide a climate that supports people in different kinds of families in carrying out their caring commitments while, at the same time, working to support themselves. I particularly welcome the proposal for promoting and valuing an 'ethic of care' alongside an ethic of work."

Rethinking Families is a forward-thinking and timely contribution to current debates about changes in family lives and personal relationships from the Economic and Social Research Council’s CAVA Research Group at the University of Leeds. It provides a considered, authoritative and politically relevant perspective on these issues, indispensable for policymakers, practitioners and students alike.

Rethinking Families sets out the main trends: the increase in the number of working mothers, in cohabitation and divorce, in single- and step-parenthood, in people living on their own or in more open same-sex relationships – within the context of ethnic and cultural diversity and an ageing society. How, it asks, do people deal with these changes and what are the implications for future social policy? In pulling together new in-depth research on people’s experiences it shows that while the shape of commitments may be changing, there is no loss of commitment itself. People may care in different ways but what it means to be a good mother, father, grandparent, friend, daughter, son, partner or ex-partner is central to how people negotiate their living and loving, working and caring.

From the analysis of family lives, friendships and support networks, the author develops the case for a more radical repositioning of the place of care in political thinking and strategy. In documenting accounts of compassionate realism, this book provides an important counter to the idea that people have become more self-centred and disconnected.

Fiona Williams, Director of the ESRC Research Group on Care, Values and the Future of Welfare (CAVA) and Professor of Social Policy at the University of Leeds, has written widely on social policy issues. She is the author of Social Policy: A Critical Introduction: Issues of ‘Race’, Class and Gender (Polity Press, 1989), and co-editor, with Jennie Popay and Ann Oakley, of Welfare Research: A Critique of Theory and Method (UCL Press, 1999).

ISBN 1 903080 02 9 Price £6.00 96 pages
Published by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, UK, 2004
ISBN 1 903080 02 9 Price £6.00 96 pages
Published by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, UK, 2004
Available from Central Books Ltd, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN
Tel: 0845 458 9911 Fax: 0845 458 9912 E-mail:



The new issue of Current Sociology out this month, features papers from CAVA’s 3rd International Seminar. The issue is guest edited by Shelley Budgeon and Sasha Roseneil and entitled: ‘Beyond the Conventional Family: Care, Intimacy and Community in the 21st Century’. Contents include:

Beyond the Conventional Family: Intimacy, Care & Community in the 21st Century
Special Issue of Current Sociology, Volume 52, Issue 2

Editors’ Introduction - Beyond the Conventional Family
Shelley Budgeon and Sasha Roseneil

Cultures of Intimacy and Care Beyond ‘The Family’: Personal Life and Social Change in the Early Twenty-First Century
Sasha Roseneil and Shelley Budgeon

Peer-Shared Households, Quasi-Communities and Neo-Tribes
Sue Heath

Cruising to Familyland: Gay Hypergamy and Rainbow Kinship
Judith Stacey

Personal Communities: Not Simply Families of ‘Fate’ or ‘Choice’
Ray Pahl and Liz Spencer

Living Apart Together: A New Family Form
Irene Levin

Intimacy and the New Sentimental Order
Bernadette Bawin-Legros

The Precariousness of Choice in the New Sentimental Order: A Response to Bawin-Legros
Mary Holmes

Response to Bernadette Bawin-Legros
Mary Evans

Care, Intimacy, and Same-Sex Partnership in the 21st Century
Barry D Adam

Subscription to the journal is available through the publisher’s website: