The University of Southampton
Social Sciences
(023) 8059 5857

Professor Rosalind Edwards PhD

Professor of Sociology, Social Sciences Director of Research and Enterprise,Co-director, ESRC National Centre for Research Methods

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Professor Rosalind Edwards is Professor of Sociology within Social Sciences: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology at the University of Southampton.

Rosalind is Professor of Sociology, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has researched and published widely in the areas of family life and policies, and is a founding and co-editor of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology.







Research interests

Rosalind’s work takes a critical sociological approach coupled with feminist relational perspectives to understand family life, address family policies and engage with major ideas and assumptions shaping these. She is especially interested in family members’ own understandings: how these are shaped by gender, social class, race/ethnicity and generation, within geographical, political and historical contexts. Rosalind welcomes applications for PhD study in these and related areas.

Rosalind’s current research projects include:

  • ‘”Troubled families” and inter-agency collaboration: lessons from historical comparative analysis’, funded by the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative Phase 2. This study is conducted in collaboration with the third sector organisation Family Action. It draws on case studies from Family Action case work papers from the late 19th century to date, to explore the challenges faced by families and support agencies during times of economic hardship. It is a creative demonstration of the value of secondary analysis of historically situated material for high impact contemporary voluntary agency strategy lessons.
  • ‘Working across qualitative longitudinal studies: a feasibility study looking at care and intimacy’, This study is part of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods programme of methodological research. It considers how feasible it is to conduct secondary analysis across existing data from several qualitative longitudinal studies. The research focuses on the substantive topic of care and intimacy, to explore new procedures for working with multiple sets of qualitative longitudinal data, whilst extending good practice in this emergent, and important, field of research:

Mixed Race/Ethnicity Families projects:

Rosalind has developed a cumulative programme of work on mixing and mixedness, with a particular focus on parenting mixed race/ethnicity children:

Parenting Mixed Heritage Children: Negotiating Difference and Belonging, funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2006-08). A research project investigating how parents from different racial, ethnic and/or faith backgrounds gave their children a sense of belonging and identity. A key finding was that parents used three typical approaches to instill a sense of belonging: individual where belonging was not seen as rooted in racial/ethnic background; mix where all aspects of a child’s background were emphasised, and single where one aspect of a child’s mixed background was stressed.

The full report is available for free download at:

Thinking About Mixedness and Mixing: International and Interdisciplinary Dialogue, seminar series funded by Economic and Social Research Council (2008-10). A seminar series aiming to stimulate and take forward new agenda in thinking about mixedness and mixing – exploring aspects of life for people from ‘mixed’ racial and ethnic backgrounds and their families.

Details of the series and outputs, including the edited collection International Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Mixing and Mixedness (Routledge 2011), can be found at:

Lone Mothers of Mixed Racial and Ethnic Children: Then and Now, funded by the Runnymede Trust (2010). A research project considering whether and how things have changed for lone mothers of mixed race children over the past half a century, drawing on firsthand accounts of such mothers from 1965 and 2008. Key shifts include changes in: how negative social judgements are expressed, how mothers understand their children’s needs, expectations of fathers and relationships with fathers’ families, and the availability of formal supports. Key continuities concern the variability of relationships with the mothers’ families and embeddedness in informal daily support networks.

The full report is available for free download at:

Facilitating Relationship Support for ‘Mixed’ Couples and Families: A Collaborative Approach and Evaluation, follow-on funding by Economic and Social Research Council (2010-11). An impact project carried out in collaboration with the relationship organisation, OnePlusOne. Research findings were developed into on-line relationship support resources and training modules.

Details and outputs can be found at:

Consultancy providing advice on background social context to the Director and Cast of the revival of ‘A Taste of Honey’, at the National Theatre, during 2014:

Leverhulme International Academic Fellowship, University of Otago, New Zealand (February—April 2014): ‘”Mixed” families: exploring fresh conceptual insights and fathering in New Zealand’.  A fellowship visit which developed academic networks and dialogue to explore perspectives on ‘mixed’ families and relationships in social and historical context through a small-scale comparative project on fathering in mixed families, and reflected on indigenous ‘kaupapa Māori’ principles of research and institutional ethics processes:

Research project(s)

Your Space! Siblings and Friends project

  • Social Sciences Director of Research and Enterprise




Book Chapters



Working Papers

SOCI 3079 Focusing on Families, convenor and lecturer
RESM 6003 Qualitative Methods I, co-convenor and lecturer
RESM 6006 Qualitative Methods II, co-convenor

Professor Rosalind Edwards
Reception Building 58 University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number:58/4057

Telephone:(023) 8059 5857

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