Esther Dermott

  • Research interests

    Esther Dermott’s research focuses on families, parenting and poverty. Her current research examines the culture, practices and policies associated with contemporary parenthood, and interrogates dominant views and measures of ‘good parenting’. She has a longstanding research focus on the practices and meanings of contemporary fatherhood, and is the author of Intimate Fatherhood (2008, Routledge) and co-editor of Displaying Families (2011, Palgrave).

    Recent writing includes analysis of the relationship between parenting and poverty and she has co-edited (with Tina Miller) a special issue of Families, Relationships and Societies evaluating patterns of change and continuity across fatherhood, caring and paid work. She has also published comparative analysis of the UK and Japan. She is the co-editor of Open Space on the journal Families, Relationships and Societies and co-editor of the University of Bristol Press book series on sociology of families and children.

    Impact work and current projects

    Current and recent funded research includes the ESRC funded ‘Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom’ (on which Esther has contributed analysis in relation to gender and parenting), ‘Post-separation fathering: negotiating intimacy and risk in parenting practice’ funded by the British Academy and ‘Conversations with Fathers’ funded by University of Bristol.

    Recent publications

    • Books
    • Journal articles
    • Book chapters


    • Dermott, E., Main, G. (Eds.) (2017) Poverty and Social Exclusion, Bristol : Policy Press
    • Dermott, E., Seymour, J. (Eds.) (2011) Displaying Families: a new concept for the sociology of family life, Palgrave Macmillan
    • Dermott, E. (2008) Intimate Fatherhood, London and New York : Routledge

    Journal articles

    • Dermott, E. (2016), Non-resident fathers in the UK: Living standards and social support, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, Volume 24, Number 2, pp. 113-125.
    • Boyer, K., Dermott, E., James, A., MacLeavy, J., (2016), Regendering care in the aftermath of recession?, Dialogues in Human Geography
    • Dermott, E., Pomati, M. (2016), ‘Good' parenting practices: how important are poverty, education and time pressure?, Sociology, Volume 50, Number 1, pp.125-142
    • Dermott, E. (2013) Poverty versus Parenting: an emergent dichotomy Studies in the Maternal, Volume 4, Number 2

    Book chapters

    • Dermott, E. (2016) Doing Good Parenthood: Reflexivity, practices and relationships in A. Sparrman, A. Westerling, J. Lind, K. Ida Dannesbo (eds.), Doing Good Parenthood: Ideals and Practices of Parental Involvement, Palgrave Macmillan
    • Dermott, E., Miller, T. (eds.) (2015), ‘Contemporary Fatherhood’, Special issue of Families, Relationships and Societies
    • Dermott, E., Miller, T. (2015), ‘More than the sum of its parts: Contemporary fatherhood, is anything new?’ in Families, Relationships and Societies
    • Dermott, E. (2014) ‘Fathers’ in H. Montgomery (ed.) Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies, New York : Oxford University Press