I am Reader in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. I am also the REF coordinator for the School and a member of Kent's Q-Step Centre.
I am interested in cross-national comparative analysis of welfare states and their labour markets. Currently my two main research areas are subjective employment insecurity and the roles institutions play therein, and the role of flexible working on work-life balance of individuals.
I completed my PhD in Sociology at the ReflecT, Tilburg University & AIAS/HSI, University of Amsterdam, my MSc in Research in Social Policy from Edinburgh University’s School of Social and Political Studies and my MSW major in Social Policy and BA in Social Welfare from Yonsei University.
My research visits and training have included Manchester University, Social Science Research Centre in Berlin (WZB), Germany, Essex University and Aalborg University, Denmark.
Room CNE 106
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NF
Students should contact me by email to arrange a meeting
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
My research interests are broadly around issues concerning cross-national comparative analysis of welfare states and their labour markets.
One key question I am currently tackling in my new project is how working time flexibility impacts individual's work-life balance, and the role of contexts in moderating that influence. Another area I am currently developing is how welfare state institutions and socio-economic factors shape individual's perceived employment insecurity.
The main method used to answer these questions is multilevel modelling using cross-national/European data. However, I also use qualitative methods including interviews and policy analyses, as well as
other quantitative methods focusing on the examination of latent factors.
My key interests include
- European welfare states and labour markets
- Subjective employment insecurity
- Working time flexibility and job autonomy
- Work-life balance and work-family conflict
- Gender equality and gender norms
- Cross-national data and European data
- Multi-level modelling and other advance quantitative methods
- Policy and document analysis.
Working-time flexibility and work-life balance
I have been awarded the ESRC Future Leaders Award 2012/3 for the project "Working time flexibility and work-life balance across Europe and the role of contexts: connecting the individual- , company and the country-level". There is mixed evidence on whether the use of flexi-time is beneficial for a better work-life balance, because flexibility can lead to spill-overs from work to home and blur the boundaries between them. I expect that different family, company and national contexts will shape the way flexi-time is used by individuals as well as its outcomes. I will match data from three levels; individual, company and national levels across 25 European countries to explore this question further.
This project started on the 16 December 2013 and will end in November 2017. Links to further information:
Labour market institutions and subjective employment insecurity
Another research project that I am currently involved in, which is an extension of my post-doctoral research project (Funded by the European Commission) is to examine the various influence of welfare state institutions on subjective employment insecurity of European individuals. My current focus is on how different institutional structures impact different groups of the labour market in different ways, as well as the moderating influence of institutions in the outcomes of subjective insecurity on subjective well-being and political attitudes/support for the welfare state.
Norface Project: Our Children's Europe
This is an international project that examine attitudes to welfare and to the future development of welfare states in six European countries . People’s current aspirations, ideas and assumptions will be important drivers of change and persistence in European welfare states, and of the extent to which conflict and solidarity surround change. This project uses innovative methods (deliberative democratic forums, a qualitative cross-national focus group survey) to develop understanding of people’s aspirations for the Europe their children will inhabit.
The project will contribute to theoretical work on the main cleavages and solidarities driving social policy in different European welfare states and to more practical consideration of the parameters of acceptable policy change. It will supply new findings relevant to the politics and sociology of welfare and provide data for reanalysis and as a base-line in future studies.
The project is headed by Peter Taylor-Gooby (PI) and consists of welfare attitude experts across Europe. Jorgen Goul Andersen and Christian Albrekt Larsen (Alborg), Maša Filipovič Hrast and Tatjana Rakar (University of Ljubljana), Bjorn Hvinden and Mi Ah Schoyen (Nova), Steffen Mau and Jan-Ocko Heuer (Humboldt University), Wim van Oorschot (Leuven), Benjamin Leruth (Kent) along with myself.
This project is funded by the NORFACE Welfare Futures grant and will run from 1 February 2015 - August 2018.
Norwegian project on part-time work
I am participating in a project funded by the Research Council of Norway. The project title is "Part-time careers in Norway – the end of normalization? Women’s working time adaptation in a longitudinal perspective”. PI: Heidi Nicolaisen at Fafo.
This project will run from November 2014 - March 2019.
I teach a variety of lectures around gender issues, East Asian welfare state and labour market policies:
- Gender & Sexuality - SO337 Fundamentals of Sociology
- Gender & the Welfare State - UG SA503 A Future for the Welfare State? & PG SO877 Comparative Social Policy
- East-Asian Welfare State - UG SA503 A Future for the Welfare State? & PG SO872 International Social Policy
- Labour market insecurity & Dualisation - PG SO877 Comparative Social Policy
Previously, I convened the PG module SO819 Analysis of Quantitative Data and ran several methods workshops, including Multilevel modelling workshops at Tilburg University and University of Hamburg.
I am supervising a number of students including undergraduates, MAs and PhDs. Current/past PhDs include:
- Joe Warriner (2017 -) - 'How do the child care practices of fathers change their understandings of masculinity?'
- Silvia Girardi (committee member at KU Leuven) (2015 - ) - 'Social assistance in Europe in relation to the different labour markets'
- Charmaine Keatley (2015 -) - 'Impact of father's involvement in childcare on women's career progression'
- Eva Kleinert (2014 -) – ‘Linking varieties of capitalism and gender labour market inequality’
- Marc Wigley (2013 -) - 'Social capital, welfare and well-being: implications for the social economy'
- Taehoon Lee (2012- 2015) - 'New and old risks in Korean social policy: the case of the National Pension Scheme' (MPhil)
- Yeosun Yoon (2011 - 2016) - 'Varieties of labour division: segmented labour markets and divided workforce in the UK' (passed Viva with minor corrections)
Awards and Prizes
- Academic Champion 2015: University of Kent 50th anniversary award
- Rosemary Crompton Prize 2010: Work Employment Society Conference Best Paper Prize
- Research Fellowship grant 2007: Social Science Research Centre Berlin, department of Labour Market Policy and Employment
- Social Security Research Prize 1999: Prize given to bachelor students in Social Sciences with research potential
- Yonsei University Contribution Scholarship 1998/1999 : Scholarships awarded to student body representatives
Professional Affiliations/Editorial Work
- Editorial Board member for the journal Journal of Korean Welfare State and Social Policy (11/2016 - current)
- Co-editor of the Policy Press Book Series ‘Research in Comparative and Global Social Policy’ (2016 - current)
- Editorial Board member for the journal Social Policy & Administration (2015 - current)
- Editorial Board member for the journal Work, Employment & Society (2014 - 2015)
- Associate Board member for the journal Work, Employment & Society (2011- 2013)
I have reviewed papers for several journals including; European Sociological Review, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Social Forces, Journal of European Social Policy, International Journal of Social Welfare.
- Co-lead for the WFRN network special Interest group Economic and Public Policy (2015 - current)
- Board member for the Korean Association for Social Policy(사회정책학회) (2013 - current)
- Foreign advisory board member for Korean Critical Social Welfare Association (비판과 대안을 위한 사회복지학회) (2014-current)
I am also a member of the European Social Policy Analysis Network (ESPAnet), the British Sociological Association (BSA), the Social Policy Association (SPA), Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN), Society of the Advancement of Socio-Economic (SASE) and others
External PhD examinations:
- Chris Clarke - University of York (Social Policy) - April 2015
- Patrick Vulkan - University of Gothenburg (Sociology) - February 2016
Grant review for the European Research Council (2017)
Grant reviews for the FWO (Flemish Science Foundation) - March 2014; July 2014
A lecture where I speak on flexible working (2016)
(a Think Kent video)
15 June 2017: The final report from my ESRC project on flexible working is used in the COFACE/Families Europe Response to the European Commissions' social pillar on work-life balance. Read it here (PDF).
22 March 2017: The findings from my ESRC projecton flexible working and flexibility stigma were accepted and published as a part of the Women and Equalities Select Committee Inquiry on Fathers and the Workplace.
2013: Several of my work (four papers) with the REFLECT team has been used for the European Commissions' final report on the Administrative Agreement on Flexicurity: JRC N°31962-2010-11 NFP ISP - FLEXICURITY 2. Read it here (PDF).
- 10 December, Paper coverage on Corriere della Sera "Lo Smartworking aumenta la producttivita: Ecco le prove"
- 27 October, Paper coverage on Slate "Flexible Work Alone Won't Create Gender Equality, but These Things Might"
- 26 October, Better Life Lab Panel on "Redesigning Work: Making Flexibility the Solution, Not the Problem" (Video)
- 26 October, interview with Yonder post cast "Remote work research"
- 24 October, interview with Slate Magazine "What Europe gets right - and what it gets wrong - about flexible working"
- 29 August, paper coverage Apolitical "How to close the gender pay gap in five difficult steps"
- 28 August, interview with 1 Million for Flexibility "Take 5: Heejung Chung on Work autonomy, flexible working, and work-life balance"
- 23 August, paper coverage La Stampa "La flessibilità permette alle donne di mantenere il posto dilavoro dopo il parto"
- 19 August, paper coverage "Workplace flexibility may boost women's careers after childbirth" by IANS - in Times of India, Prokerala, Economic Times, Yahoo News India, NDTV and others
- 18 August, paper coverage "Workplace flexibility key to helping women maintain careers after childbirth", in Psych Central, Psy Org, Health Medicine Network, Science Newsline, Workplace insight, Workingmums and others
- 18 August, the Conversation "Want more women in top positions? Provide them with more flexibility at work" republished in Quartz, Yahoo News, Fair Observer, TVN , PsyOrg, Economia, Apolitical and others
- 21 June, BBC Radio Kent Drive time with Dominic King (1:24:22) interview on "Go Home on Time Day" (listen here)
- 2 June, Ugebrevet A4 "Fleksibel arbejdstid fører op til fem timers længere arbejdsuge med sig"
- 27 April, Quartz "Flexible Working is Making Us Work Longer"
- 1 April, Interview with Brigid Schulte "Why Your Best Productivity Hacks Still Come Up Short" FastCompany
- 20 February, "Everyone Likes Flex Time, but We Punish Women Who Use It" Harvard Business Review, Kauppalehti and others..
- 20 February, interview with KMTV as a part of the One day Without US event at the University of Kent "One day without us protest at the University of Kent" - also covered in Kent online and BBC Radio Kent (start 1:08)
2015 - 2016
- 28 December 2016, "Control over working hours leads to different outcomes for mothers and fathers" Workplace insight
- 15 November 2016, "Better childcare provision increases public support for the service" - EurekAlert!, PsysOrg, Health Medicinet and others
- 14 November 2016, the Conversation "What Britain can learn from Scandinavia when it comes to childcare", republished in Yorkshire Evening Post, Sheffield Telegraph, Doncaster Free Press, News Yorkshire
- 8 November, Daily Mail interview "Mums who pay to go to work"
- 5 October 2016, BBC Radio Kent, interview with Dominic King as part of the Go home on time day
- 4 October 2016, 1 Million for Work Flexibility blog Research Explainer on our ESR paper
- 14 September 2016, coverage in the Times of India "The Dark Side of Flexible Working Hours"
- 9 September 2016, two papers mentioned in BBC.com/BBC capital "The curse of flexible work"
- 5 September 2016, paper coverage Die Zeit " Wechsel auf Gleitzeit bringt Männern mehr Gehalt - den Frauen aber nicht", also in die Standard, in HAZ - Hannoversche Allgemeine "Wechsel auf Gleitzeit bringt nur Männern mehr Gehalt" and others
- 3 September 2016, paper coverage in Der Speigel "Arbeitszeit: Frauen in Nachteil", 6 September Spiegel Online "Flexible Arbeitszeiten: Wechsel auf Gleitzeit bringt Männern mehr Gehalt - Frauen nicht"
- 24 August 2016, paper coverage in the Washington Post "Flexible schedules reward dads, not moms" and republished in the LA Times, World Economic Forum, Miami Herald and 20+ others
- 24 August 2016, paper coverage in WorkingMums blog "The Motherhood penalty"
- 20 August 2016, paper coverage in Hindustan Times "Men reap more benefits of flexitime than women, says study"
- 18 August 2016, The Conversation, "Flexible working is making us work longer", republished in Fortune Magazine, in the Daily Mail, Scroll.in, along 20+ others
- 25 August, translated into German Netzpiloten Magazin "Flexibles Arbeiten lässt uns länger schuften" and republished in der Freitag and others
- 15 September, translated into French the Conversation.FR "La flexibilité du temps de travail est-elle un piège?" and republished in La Tribune and in SudOuest
- 2 May, republished in Japanese in NewSphere"フレックスな働き方が私たちの労働を長時間化させる", and livedoor " 「柔軟な労働」をすると働く時間は増加する"
- 13 March 2016, Kent on Sunday, "EU Referendum: Senior Lecturer explains worker's rights debate"
- 8 March 2016, BBC Radio Kent, interview with Dominic King as a part of the International Women's Day celebration (listen)
- 9 February 2016, McGinley news (Making flexible hours work in the infrastructure industry)
2012 - 2014
- 16 October 2014, Bloomberg news interview (Lawyer's Only Job Hope in Spain : Hospital Orderly)
- 24 September 2014, BBC Radio Kent interview with Julia George as a part of work-life balance week (listen)
- 22 September 2014, The Conversation "Does work leave you tired, stressed with no time for family? You’re not alone"
- 27 June 2014, The Conversation "In reality, new ‘flexible working’ rights could mean longer days and less family time"
- 24 September 2012, BBC Radio Kent interview with Julia George