Photograph of Majella KilkeyDr Majella Kilkey

Reader in Social Policy

(BSSc (Hons) (Queen's University Belfast), MA (York), DPhil (York))

Telephone: 0114 222 6459 (external), 26459 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, LG28


Majella joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2011, having taught in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Hull since completing her DPhil ‘Lone Mothers Between Paid Work and Care: The Policy Regime in 20 Countries’ at the University of York.

Majella is a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Peer Review College, and an elected editorial board member of the Journal of Social Policy.


Majella's motivation for research is to understand how the processes and outcomes of globalisation affect citizenship, which she understands as encompassing rights, practices and belonging. This interest began at the University of York (UK) where her PhD was a 20-country comparative study of contemporary shifts in national gender regimes analysed through the lens of policies for lone mothers. Majella published the research as a sole authored monograph (Kilkey, 2000), which been translated into Japanese. The vision underpinning her research post-PhD has two elements. The first is an ambition to transcend the dualism in globalisation and social policy scholarship between cross-national comparative and transnational approaches. Majella's concept of ‘situated transnationalism’ and its accompanying analytical framework is an innovative response to that challenge (article co-authored with Laura Merla in press in Global Networks). The second element is to make analysis of the micro-level enactments of citizens in response to wider socio-economic processes and structures, more central to Social Policy. An interdisciplinary approach is fundamental to this agenda. Majella's recently completed ESRC project Situating men within global care chains (conducted with Diane Perrons) exemplified this ambition by exploring how men (Polish migrants in UK and British non-migrants) respond to the differential challenges posed by the intersection of processes related to globalisation, migration and social reproduction.

Current projects are focused around migration, transnationalism and citizenship, with the present economic crisis and austerity in Europe being a particular focus. Together with Professor Helma Lutz and Dr Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck (University of Frankfurt), Majella co-chaired a Research Conference on Family Life in an Age of Migration and Mobility: Theory, Policy and Practice, which took place in Norrköping, Sweden in September 2013. The current economic crisis provides the context for exploring the migratory experiences of the British through a White Rose Collaborative Research Network involving colleagues at the Universities of Leeds and York. With Loretta Balddasar (University of Western Australia) and Laura Merla (Université catholique de Louvain), Majella is co-organiser of Paper Session ‘Families’ resilience in times of economic crisis and mobility’, joint session of RC06 (Family Research) and RC31 (Sociology of Migration), World Congress of Sociology, Japan, 2014. Majella is a member of the recently formed IMISCOE network Young Adult Mobility Options and Alternatives in Times of Economic Crisis, co-ordinated by Jăo Sardinha (Open University, Lisbon) and Sandra Silva (University of Lisbon). She is also a member of an international network – Transnational Lives, Mobility and Gender - led by Dr Marzia Grassi (University of Lisbon) and recently awarded European Science Foundation Funding.

Funded Research Projects
Date Sponsor Details
2013-2014 White Rose University Consortium Migration and Economic Crisis: the experiences of Brits at home and abroad (with Dr Neil Lunt and Dr Louise Waite).
2012-2013 University of Linköping, Fritz Thyssen Foundation & Riksbanken Foundation Research Conference ‘Family Life in an Age of Migration and Mobility: Theory, Policy and Practice’ (with Prof. Helma Lutz and Dr Ewa Palenga- Möllenbeck).
2009-2010 HEIF 4 Fund – Dissemination support for knowledge transfer research outputs, LSE International seminar ‘Fathering and work-life balance: challenges for policy’ (with Prof. Diane Perrons and Dr Ania Plomien).
2008-2009 ESRC Situating men within global care chains: the migrant handyman phenomenon (with Prof. Diane Perrons).
2005-2007 ESRC Seminar Series ‘Gender, work and life in the new global economy’ (with Prof. Diane Perrons, Prof. Diane Elson, Prof. Linda McDowell and Prof. Ruth Pearson.
2006 SPA & University of Hull Disabled fathers: identifying a research agenda.
2003-2004 Wakefield and Sheffield City Councils The Quality of Life of Adult Asylum Seekers (with Prof. Gary Craig).
2002 EC The ‘individual adult-worker’ model: towards gender equality?
2001 HEFCE Experiences of non-traditional students at the University of Hull (with Steve Page).


Majella has developed a substantial and varied teaching portfolio in social policy and related fields, which includes undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, core and optional elements, and taught as well as supervisory modes. Majella enjoys teaching and is committed to achieving excellence in teaching standards. She strives to adopt a student-centred approach to teaching; to be inclusive, and to respond where appropriate in both content and method to the needs of students. Majella aims to make her teaching an enjoyable and stimulating experience for those who participate, so as to promote self-directed learning. She is a reflective teacher, and responds to feedback when appropriate in order to maintain the effectiveness of her teaching. Majella's teaching is informed by her own research on topics around: international migration; intra-EU mobility; families and social policies; comparative gender analysis at the interface of paid work, care and welfare; Europeanization; and globalisation.

Majella currently convenes the following undergraduate modules:

  • SCS3026 Migration and Families
  • SCS1009 Social Problems and Social Policy (Lectures)
  • SCS1010 Social Problems and Social Policy (Seminars)

See our Undergraduate degree pages.

At postgraduate level, Majella is a member of the MSc International Social Change and Policy teaching team. On that programme she convenes SCS653 Global Social Problems.

Postgraduate supervision

Majella has supervised a number of research students through to completion. She welcome enquiries from students considering pursuing doctoral studies in areas related to her specific research interests as outlined above.

To find out more about our PhD programmes, go to:
Studying for a PhD in Sociology


Publications since 2005

Kilkey, M. & Urzi, D. (2017) Social Reproduction in Sicily’s Agricultural Sector: Migration Status and Context of Reception. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Published online 9 February 2017. doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1286971

Kilkey M, Palenga-Möllenbeck E. (eds) (2016) Family Life in an Age of Migration and Mobility: Global Perspectives through the Life Course, Palgrave Macmillan.

Baldassar, L., Kilkey, M., Merla, L. and Wilding, R. (2014) ‘Transnational Families’, in Treas, J., Scott, J. And Richards, M. (eds) The Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families, Wiley Blackwell.

Kilkey, M. (2014) ‘Polish male migrants in London: The Circulation of Fatherly Care’, in Baldassar, L. and Merla, L. (eds) Transnational Families, migration and the circulation of care, New York: Routledge.

Kilkey, M. and Merla, L. (2014) ‘Situating Transnational Families’ Care-giving Arrangements: the role of institutional contexts’, Global Networks. A Journal of Transnational Affairs, 14: 2, 210-229. doi: 10.1111/glob.12034

Kilkey, M. and Palenga-Möllenbeck, E. (2013) ‘Fathers’ time-bind and the outsourcing of “male” domestic work in Europe: the cases of UK and Germany’, Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 29: 2, 109-121. doi: 10.1080/21699763.2013.832702

Kilkey, M., Plomien, A. and Perrons, D. (2013) ‘Migrant men’s fathering practices and projects in national and transnational spaces: recent Polish male migrants to London’, International Migration. 52: 1, 178-191. doi: 10.1111/imig.12046

Gonzalez-Arnal, S., Alsop, R. and Kilkey, M. (2013) ‘Políticas de inclusión de grupos minoritarios y su relación con el género: las experiencias de los estudiantes’ in Incluyendo sin excluir. Género y movilidad en instituciones de educación superior, J. Chan de Avila, S. García Peter, M. Zapata Galindo (eds.): Edición tranvía, Verlag Walter Frey, Berlín 2013, 161-176pp.

Kilkey, M., Perrons, D. and Plomien, A. with Hondagneu-Sotelo and Ramirez, H. (2013) Gender, Migration and Domestic Work: Masculinities, Male Labour and Fathering in the UK and USA, Palgrave Macmillan. (Reviewed by Kathy Burrell in Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 21:4, 530-532, doi: 10.1080/0966369X.2014.912871)

Kilkey, M., G. Ramia and K. Farnsworth (eds) (2012) Social Policy Review 24, Bristol: Policy Press.

Holden, C., M. Kilkey & G. Ramia (eds) (2011) Social Policy Review 23, Bristol: Policy Press.

Yeates, N., Haux, T., Jawad, R. and Kilkey, M. (eds) (2011) In Defence of Welfare: The impacts of the Comprehensive Spending Review, UK Social Policy Association.

Greener, I., Holden, C. and Kilkey, M. (eds) (2010) Social Policy Review 22, Bristol: Policy Press.

Kilkey, M. (2010) “Men and Domestic Labor: A Missing Link in the Global Care Chain”, Men and Masculinities, 13: 1, 126-149. doi: 10.1177/1097184X10382884

Kilkey, M. (2010) “Domestic-sector work in the UK: locating men in the configuration of welfare, care, gender and migration regimes”, in Themed Section “Domestic and care work at the intersection of welfare, gender and migration regimes: European experiences” (Guest Editors M. Kilkey, H. Lutz and E. Palenga-Möllenbeck), Social Policy and Society, 9: 3, 443-54. doi:10.1017/S1474746410000151

Kilkey, M., H. Lutz and E. Palenga-Möllenbeck (2010) “Introduction’ in Themed Section “Domestic and care work at the intersection of welfare, gender and migration regimes: European experiences” (Guest Editors M. Kilkey, H. Lutz and E. Palenga-Möllenbeck), Social Policy and Society, 9: 3, 379-84. doi: 10.1017/S1474746410000096

Kilkey, M. and H. Clarke (2010) “Disabled Men and Fathering: Opportunities and Constraints”, Community, Work and Family, 13: 2, 127-46. doi: 10.1080/13668800902923738

Kilkey, M. & Perrons, D. (2010) “Gendered divisions in domestic-work time. The rise of the (migrant) handyman phenomenon”, Time and Society, 19: 2, 239-64. doi: 10.1177/0961463X09354439

Perrons, D., Plomien, A. and Kilkey, M. (2010) “Migration and uneven development within an enlarged European Union: Fathering, gender divisions and male migrant domestic services”, European Urban and Regional Studies, 17: 2, 197-215. doi: 10.1177/0969776409357362

Gonzalez-Arnal, S. and Kilkey, M. (2009) “Contextualizing Rationality: Mature student carers and higher education in England”, Feminist Economics. 15: 1, 85-111. doi: 10.1080/13545700802528323

Alsop, R., Gonzalez-Arnal, S. and Kilkey, M. (2008) “The Widening Participation Agenda: The Marginal Place of Care”, Gender and Education, 20: 6, 623-39. doi: 10.1080/09540250802215235

Kilkey, M. (ed.) (2007) Disabled Fathers: towards a research agenda, Hull, CASS Working Paper Series, University of Hull. ISBN 1 903 704 37 5.

Kilkey, M. (2007) ‘Introduction’, in Kilkey, M. (ed.) (2007) Disabled Fathers: towards a research agenda, Hull, CASS Working Paper Series, University of Hull. ISBN 1 903 704 37 5.

Kilkey, M. (2007) ‘Identities, Practices and Experiences of Disabled Fathers. Some emerging research findings’, in Kilkey, M. (ed.) (2007) Disabled Fathers: towards a research agenda, Hull, CASS Working Paper Series, University of Hull. ISBN 1 903 704 37 5.

Kilkey, M. (2006) “New Labour and Reconciling Work and Family Life: making it fathers’ business?”, Social Policy and Society, 5: 2. doi: 10.1017/S147474640500285X

A full list of publications can be downloaded by clicking the link on the right of this page.