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Research Students - Material Culture  

Year of start:
Material and Visual Culture

Research Topic

Dual earning families and their paid housewives: negotiating boundaries between ‘blood’ and ‘fictive’ kinship.


Prof. Daniel Miller
Prof. Suzanne Kuchler


My research interest focuses on the nuclear family among urban Western populations, contributing to discourses such as the passage to parenthood, dual earning family life, intimacy and sexual life, and the relationship with domestic life and childcare. In the context of my PhD, I am currently conducting an 18 months ethnography that explores the life of dual earner families and their relationship with paid domestic work and paid childcare. By examining the relationship between domestic employers and their caregiver (female migrants who are often themselves mothers), this research examines the boundaries between ‘blood’ and fictive’ kinship, the meaning of motherhood, fatherhood and the relationship with the home once this becomes a working site.

Prior to this PhD, I have been working as a Researcher for both the public and the private sector dealing with issues on migration, consumption, and family relations.

Research interests

  • Household, family and the home in urban Western societies
  • Kinship and ‘fictive kin’ relations
  • Domestic work, childcare, and the meaning of caregiving
  • Sex, intimacy and couple life
  • Stages of parenthood and extended family relations
  • Field and Methods in anthropology: the use of internet based channels and the webcam

Academic Background/Education

First Class Hon degree in Anthropology and Geography (BSc), University College London, with a dissertation on the use of the mobile phone in urban public space among young people in the UK

MA (University of Milano Bicocca) in Medical Anthropology with a focus on intergenerational family relations in northern Italy


University College London Bursary, year 2010

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