Dr Jane Pilcher

Associate Professor

Room 1.02, 107-111 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7JA

Tel: +44 (0)11-6252-2731 (direct line)
Email: jlp3@le.ac.uk

Personal details

  • BSc, PhD (Wales), SFHEA

I previously worked at Cardiff University and came to Leicester as a Lecturer in 1992. Since 2001, for work/life balance reasons, I have worked part-time and from 2006, on a 50% basis.

I am a long-term member of the British Sociological Association and am part of the following BSA study group networks:

  • Gender
  • Childhood
  • Family & Relationships
  • Ageing, Body & Society

I have collaborated with Leicester Ageing Together, including in the development of a community researcher programme to evaluate issues that matter to older people.

I am

  • a member of Campaign for Social Sciences and was on the Working Group which produced a report on the value of social sciences in the run-up to the 2015 General Election (2014-2015).
  • Associate Editorial Board member for the journal Sociological Research Online (2013-2018) [Click on this link to go to the journal]
  • an Associate Editorial Board member for the journal Sociology (2013-2020)
  • an Editorial Board member for the journal Qualitative Research (2002-2005)
  • an academic sociology consultant to businesses and organisations, including Genergraphics Incorporated (a US marketing company specialising in generational research) in the publication of their book Genergraphics: The International Language of Marketing (2010-2013)
  • a regular consultant for print and broadcast journalists, including appearances on BBC Radio 4's Woman’s Hour (2011 and 2017), Archive (2011) and Thinking Allowed (2016) programmes and features/news reports in The Sunday Times, amongst other newspapers
  • a regular reviewer of proposals for book publishers such as
    • Palgrave
    • Pearson
    • Oxford University Press
  • a regular reviewer of grant applications for funding bodies including
    • the Leverhulme Trust
    • the ESRC

I have refereed journal articles by invitation for the editors of the American Journal of Sociology, Childhood, Current Sociology, Gender and Education, Sex Roles and others.

My published work on children and the consumption of fashion was submitted (2011) to the UK government Department for Education's Bailey Review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.

Public engagement

I actively use social media to promote sociology to a wider public and (under 'sociologyblog') have a Twitter profile.

In February 2013, my idea Social Worlds in 100 Objects was launched by the University of Leicester. Inspired by a popular BBC Radio 4 series on historical objects, it is an innovative project that provides a social science perspective to everyday objects. My own contributions to this project use the objects of the rocking horse to discuss childhood as a stage in the life course and the clock to discuss conceptions of time.

You can listen to a podcast on the project.





  • Supervision of Masters and PhD theses

Administrative duties

  • Director of Research Ethics
  • Member of University Research Ethics Committee



  • Pilcher, Jane. and Whelehan, Imelda. (2017) Key Concepts in Gender Studies, 2nd ed, London: SAGE.
  • Wagg, S. and Pilcher, J. (2014, eds.) Thatcher's Grandchildren? Politics and Childhood in the Twenty-First Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave).
  • Pole, Chris, Pilcher, Jane and Williams, John (eds.) (2005) Young People In Transition: Becoming Citizens (Basingstoke: Palgrave).
  • Pilcher, Jane and Whelehan, Imelda (2004) Fifty Key Concepts in Gender Studies, Sage Key Concepts Series (London: Sage).
  • Williams, John, Pilcher, Jane and Pole, Chris (eds.) (2003) Special Issue: Rethinking Adulthood: Families, Transitions and Social Change, Sociological Research Online, 8(4).
  • Pilcher, Jane (1999) Women in Contemporary Britain: An Introduction (London: Routledge).
  • Pilcher, Jane (1998) Women of Their Time: Generation, Gender Issues and Feminism, Cardiff Papers in Qualitative Research (Aldershot: Ashgate).
  • Pilcher, Jane and Coffey, Amanda (eds.) (1996) Gender and Qualitative Research, Cardiff Papers in Qualitative Research (Aldershot: Avebury).
  • Pilcher, Jane and Wagg, Stephen (eds.) (1996) Thatcher’s Children? Politics, Childhood and Society in the 1980s and 1990s (London: Falmer Press).
  • Pilcher, Jane (1995) Age and Generation in Modern Britain, Oxford Modern Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Journal articles

  • Pilcher, Jane (2017) 'Names and “Doing Gender”: How Forenames and Surnames Contribute to Gender Identities, Difference, and Inequalities', Sex Roles, 77(11), 812-822.
  • Pilcher, Jane (2016) ‘Names, Bodies and Identities’, Sociology 50 (4): 764-779. Shortlisted for the 2017 SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence.
  • Pilcher, Jane (2013) ''Small But Very Determined': A Novel Theorisation of Children's Consumption of Clothing', Cultural Sociology, 7(1), March, pp. 86-100. [Click on this link for online access via publisher]
  • Pilcher, Jane (2011) 'No Logo? Children's Consumption of Fashion', Childhood, 18(1), February, pp. 128-141.
  • Pilcher, Jane (2010) 'What Not to Wear? Girls, Clothing and 'Showing' the Body', Children and Society, 24(6), pp. 461-470.
  • Pilcher, Jane (2007) 'Body Work: Childhood, Gender and School Health Education in England, 1870-1977', Childhood, 14(2), May, pp. 215-233.
  • Pilcher, Jane (2005) 'School Sex Education: Policy and Practice in England 1870-2000', Sex Education, 5(2), pp. 157-174.
  • Pilcher, Jane (2004) 'Sex in Health Education: Official Guidance for Schools in England, 1928-1977', Journal of Historical Sociology, 17(2-3), pp. 185-208.
  • Pilcher, Jane, Williams, John and Pole, Chris (2003) 'Rethinking Adulthood: Families, Transitions and Social Change', Sociological Research Online, 8(4).
  • Pilcher, Jane (2000) ''Change Slow A-Coming': Domestic Divisions of Labour in the Twentieth Century', Work, Employment and Society, 14(4), pp. 771-780.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1998) 'Gender Matters? Three Cohorts of Women Talking About Role Reversal', Sociological Research Online, 3(1).
  • Pilcher, Jane (1997) 'Contrary to Gillick: British Children’s Sexual Rights Since 1985', International Journal of Children’s Rights, 5(3), pp. 299-317.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1996) 'Transitions to and from the Labour Market: Younger and Older People and Employment', Work, Employment and Society, 10(1), pp. 161-173.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1995) 'The Gender Significance of Women in Power: Women Talking About Margaret Thatcher', European Journal of Women's Studies, 2(4), pp. 493-508.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1994) 'Mannheim's Sociology of Generations: An Undervalued Legacy', British Journal of Sociology, 45(3), pp. 481-495.
  • Pilcher, Jane, Delamont, S., Powell, G., Rees, T. and Read, M. (1989) 'Evaluating a Women's Careers Convention: Methods, Results and Implications', Research Papers in Education, 4(1), pp. 57-76.
  • Pilcher, Jane, Delamont, S., Powell, G. and Rees, T. (1989) 'Challenging Occupational Stereotypes: Women's Training Roadshows and Guidance at School Level', British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 17(1), January, pp. 59-67.
  • Pilcher, Jane, Delamont, Sara, Powell, G. and Rees, Teresa (1988) 'Women's Training Roadshows and the "Manipulation" of Schoolgirls' Career Choices', British Journal of Education and Work, 2(2), pp. 61-66.

Book chapters

  • Pilcher, J. (2014) 'The Politics of Children's Clothing' in Wagg, S. and Pilcher, J. (eds.) Thatcher's Grandchildren? Politics and Childhood in the Twenty-First Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave), pp. 258-274..
  • Pilcher, Jane (2001) 'Explaining Gender and Gender Inequalities', in Giddens, A. (ed.) Sociology: Introductory Readings (Cambridge: Polity), pp. 71-77.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1996) 'Gillick and After: Children and Sex in the 1980s and 1990s', in Pilcher, J. and Wagg, S. (eds.) Thatcher’s Children? Politics, Childhood and Society in the 1980s and 1990s (London: Falmer Press), pp. 77-93.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1994) 'Who Should Do The Dishes? Three Generations of Welsh Women Talking About Men and Housework', in Aaron, Jane, Rees, Teresa, Betts, Sandra and Vincentelli, Moira (eds.) Our Sisters' Land: The Changing Identities of Women in Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press), chapter 2, pp. 31-47.


  • Boden, S., Pole, Chris, Pilcher, Jane and Edwards, Tim (2004) 'New Consumers? The Social and Cultural Significance of Children’s Fashion Consumption', Working Paper Series Number 016, ESRC/AHRB Cultures of Consumption Programme, <http://www.consume.bbk.ac.uk/publications.html#workingpapers>
  • Pilcher, Jane (2004) 'The Uses of Sociology', Sociology Review, 14(1), pp. 1-4.
  • Pilcher, Jane (2000) ''Blair’s Babes': Formal Politics and Femininity in Britain', Sociology Review, 9(3), pp. 15-18.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1998) 'Understanding Later Life', Reviewing Sociology, 11(1), <http://www.reading.ac.uk/RevSoc/>.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1998) 'Hormones or Hegemonic Masculinity? Explaining Gender Inequality', Sociology Review, 7, pp. 5-9.
  • Pilcher, Jane and Coffey, Amanda (1996) 'Introduction', in Pilcher, Jane and Coffey, Amanda (eds.) Gender and Qualitative Research, Cardiff Papers in Qualitative Research (Aldershot: Avebury), pp. 1-5.
  • Pilcher, Jane and Wagg, Stephen (1996) 'Introduction: Thatcher's Children?' in Pilcher, Jane and Wagg, Stephen. (eds.) Thatcher’s Children? Politics, Childhood and Society in the 1980s and 1990s (London: Falmer Press), pp. 1-7.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1995) 'Growing Up and Growing Older: The Sociology of Age', Sociology Review, 5, pp. 8-13.
  • Pilcher, Jane (1993) '"I'm Not a Feminist But ... ": Understanding Feminism', Sociology Review, 3, pp. 2-6.
  • Pilcher, Jane, Delamont, S., Powell, G. and Rees, T. (1990) Career Choices for Schoolgirls: So You Want to Run a Women's Training Roadshow? A Handbook for Organising Careers Conventions to Promote Equal Opportunities in Training and Employment for Girls and Women (Cardiff: Welsh Office). [18 pages.]
  • Pilcher, Jane, Delamont, S., Powell, G. and Rees, T. (1990) Career Choices for Schoolgirls: An Evaluative Study of Cardiff Women's Training Roadshow (Cardiff: Welsh Office). [34 pages, bilingual.]
  • Pilcher, Jane and Williamson, H. (1988) An Uphill Struggle: A Guide to Young People's Experiences in a Changing Labour Market (London: Youthaid). [38 pages.]


My primary research interests are in the sociology of age (cohort, generation and the life course), with a special focus on childhood, and the sociology of gender. My interests in cohort, generation and the life course have led to funded research and/or published work on:

  • gender, generations and feminism
  • Mannheim and the sociology of generations
  • the social and cultural significance of age in modern Britain
  • historical constructions of childhood in England in the twentieth century in relation to school sex and health education
  • the provision of contraception to under 16s
  • the intergenerational dynamics of consumption
  • the socio-cultural significance of children as consuming agents of clothing fashions

I was invited to speak on the politics of children's clothing at the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth at the University of Sussex in 2013 and at Cardiff University's School of Social Sciences in June 2014.

My interests in the sociology of gender intersect with my interests in the sociology of age and has led to published work on:

  • gendered childhoods
  • gender as a social division in contemporary Britain
  • gender and qualitative research
  • the gendering of career choices
  • gender and formal politics
  • key concepts in gender studies.

You can read an example of my work on gendered childhoods online.

My current research focus is the sociology of naming, including the relationship between names, identities and the body, and the role of family surnames in the constitution and legitimisation of gendered identities.


I am able to supervise doctoral students in the following areas:

  • gender studies, including relating to ageing, cohort and the life course
  • ageing studies, including the intergenerational dynamics of relationships and the socio-cultural significance of age
  • the sociology of names

I have previously supervised PhD theses on:

  • anorexia nervosa
  • the Jordanian women's movement
  • young women's participation in social movements

My current PhD students are researching:

  • ageing women punks
  • the cultural construction of mothering

I have examined postgraduate theses, including an intergenerational study of Muslim women, a study of the gendering of the household division of labour and a study of the fashion consumption of pre-teenage girls.

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
United Kingdom

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