Personal profile

Research interests

I started my research career interested in the problematisation of teenage pregnancy and parenthood. Through my PhD research in this area and a subsequent study into support services for young parents my interests have expanded to a number of related areas. This includes; sex education, families, parenting (including parenting 'experts' and policy), motherhood and fatherhood. As a consequence I am now engaged in a project examining the experiences of formula feeding mothers. Nonetheless, I am still passionate about challenging misconceptions about teenage pregnancy and parenthood and am currently  examining the long-term outcomes of young parents. 


Approach to teaching

I currently teach across a number of modules within SASS including dissertation supervision. I am currently coordinating the first year module, Contemporary Social Inequalities. This is a module taken by all first year student across the department. It introduces them to university level study and pushes them to engage critically with taken for granted ideas about the social world. My role involves designing module content (including assessment, lecture structure and seminar content), organising staff, providing students with feedback and writing module handbooks.

I like to engage students through relevant and up-to-date content. My teaching is research led. As part of the module Sociology and the Life Course, I give lectures to level 5 students on risk and parenting and family/work balance. I have also designed and delivered a module option for level 6 students on the sociology of families and parenting. I ensure that students see the relevance of the theories and research they come across in these areas by linking them to social policies, current news stories and taking them to the Mass Observation Archive. Students are therefore given access to cutting edge research and debates and are taught to apply them to contemporary society.

I like to vary the way in which I deliver material by ensuring that students take an active part in their learning. For example, my third year students are asked to conduct research into representations of motherhood in adverts and present their findings. They are also taken through an analysis of infant feeding literature, which they then conduct themselves. My desire to explore alternative teaching methods in order to engage and retain students led me to bring the Human Library into the University for first year students. Human libraries are events designed to tackle stigma and discrimination. Volunteers who have experienced stigma as a result of an element of their identity act as 'books' for visitors to 'take out' and 'read'. This involves a timed one-to-one conversation, which works to challenge misconceptions and widen understanding. Whilst human libraries are widely used, the University of Brighton is currently the only university in the UK to incorporate this event for teaching purposes.

As a consequence, my teaching is consistently well-received and well-evaluated by students and external examiners.

Scholarly biography

Ellis-Sloan, K. and Tamplin, A., 2018. Teenage Mothers and Social Isolation: The role of friendship as protection against relational exclusion. Social Policy and Society, pp.1-16.

Ellis-Sloan, K., 2015. Practising care in teenage mother support groups. Critical Social Policy35(4), pp.535-555.

Ellis-Sloan, K (2014) Understanding teenage motherhood through feminist research: A reflection on the challenges and advantages. Athenea Digital 14(4) 129-152 (special edition)

Ellis-Sloan, K (2014) Teenage mothers, stigma and their 'presentations of self'. Sociological Research Online, 19(1), 9.

Supervisory Interests

I am currently on the supervision team for Vanessa Stone De Guzman on her thesis, 'Out and about with my disabled child: The lived experience of parents of children with Down Syndrome'. 

I would be interested in supervising projects on motherhood, teenage pregnancy, fatherhood, parenting or related areas. 




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