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Dr Patricia Hamilton



  • PhD Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, University of Western Ontario (Canada)
  • MA Gender Studies, University of Sussex
  • BA (Hons) English and Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Patricia Hamilton joined the University of York as a Lecturer in Sociology in September 2022. She completed her undergraduate degree in South Africa, majoring in English and Sociology, before moving to the UK for an MA in Gender Studies, funded by a Commonwealth scholarship.

For her PhD at the University of Western Ontario, Patricia interviewed black mothers living in the UK and Canada and explored their engagements with attachment parenting, a popular parenting philosophy that emphasises secure attachment between mother and child and is promoted as a ‘natural’ and ‘instinctive’ approach to raising children.

The monograph based on this doctoral research, Black Mothers and Attachment Parenting, was published in the Bristol University Press Sociology of Children and Families series and was shortlisted for the 2021 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.


Patricia has taught and conducted research in South Africa, Canada and the UK and was previously a lecturer in the Sociology and Social Anthropology department at Stellenbosch University.

Prior to joining York, Patricia was a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Thomas Coram Research Unit in UCL’s Social Research Institute. Her project examined parenting leave policies in the UK since the 1970s from the perspective of black parents.

Her next book is an intersectional analysis of parenting leave, building on the findings from this project and will be published by Emerald.

Patricia is an Associate Editor for Families, Relationships and Societies and serves on the editorial board of Sociology.



Patricia’s research sits at the intersection of black feminist theory, parenting culture studies and reproduction, particularly attending to the intersectional politics of early parenting and the development of relevant policies in a neoliberal context. She is also interested in black feminist research methodologies.

Her next project will focus on assisted reproductive technologies and their intersection with race and parenting.

She welcomes PhD students interested in any of these or related areas.


Selected publications

  • Hamilton, P. (2021). ‘These people have seen this in our cultures back home’: Black mothers in the UK and Canada reclaim attachment parenting. Ethnic & Racial Studies, 44 (14), 2595-2614.
  • Hamilton, P. (2021). Researching parental leave during a pandemic: Lessons from black feminist theory and relationality. Families, Relationships and Societies, 10 (1), 197-203.
  • Hamilton, P. (2020). Black mothers and attachment parenting: A black feminist analysis of intensive mothering in Britain and Canada. Bristol: Bristol University Press.
  • Hamilton, P. (2020). ‘Now that I know what you’re about’: Black feminist reflections on power in the research relationship. Qualitative Research, 20 (5), 519-533. 
  • Hamilton, P., Lawson, E., Gaudet, C., Chisolm, J., Kaur, J., & Abercromby, S. (2018). At the intersection of idealized youth and marginalized almost-adulthood: How girls negotiate young motherhood in London, Ontario. Journal of Youth Studies, 21 (9), 1182-1197.
  • Hamilton, P. (2016). The ‘good’ attached mother: An analysis of postmaternal and postracial thinking in birth and breastfeeding policy in neoliberal Britain. Australian Feminist Studies, 31 (90), 410-431.

Non-refereed publications

  • Hamilton, P. (2023). Book review: Birthing black mothers by Jennifer C. Nash. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2021. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 46 (3), 626-628, (invited).
  • Hamilton, P. (2019). Book review: The ethics and politics of breastfeeding: Power, pleasure, poetics by Robyn Lee. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 44 (4), 455-458, (invited).

Contact details

Dr Patricia Hamilton
Department of Sociology
University of York
YO10 5GD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 2593