Dr Lydia Martens

Title: Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Phone: +44 (0)1782 734125
Email: l.d.martens@keele.ac.uk
Location: CBC0.030
Role: Chair of School Student Research Ethics Committee
Assessments, QA and Extenuating Circumstances Officer, Sociology
Research Cluster Lead 'Children, Families and Society'
Contacting me: During Office Hours, posted on my door, or via email appointment.
Martens_Lydia

Dr Lydia Martens is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. With her research on food and eating; children, parenting and markets; intergenerational relationships and learning; routine domestic practices; and gender and consumption, she has become a leading international authority in the sociology of consumption. She was convenor of the consumption networks of the British and European Sociological Associations, and Honorary Fellow of the Manchester Centre for Research into Innovation and Competition. She is co-author of the widely cited book Eating Out: Social Differentiation, Consumption and Pleasure (Cambridge), and is co-editor of Gender and Consumption: Domestic Cultures and the Commercialisation of Everyday Life (Ashgate) and Motherhood, Markets and Consumption: The Making of Mothers in Contemporary Western Cultures (Routledge). Her research has been supported by funding from the ESRC, the British Academy and the Food Standards Agency. She is on the Scientific Committee of the International Child and Teen Consumption Conference and she was a member of the independent panel of experts assessing the Impact of the Commercial World on Children’s Wellbeing for the Departments of Children, Schools and Families and Culture, Media and Sport. Dr Martens’ research in consumption has also informed cutting edge undergraduate modules. She currently teaches a third year elective module called gender and Consumption. Dr Martens currently leads the cluster on Children, Families and Society in the Research Centre for Social Policy at Keele.

Dr Martens is well known for her methodologically innovative research and expertise in qualitative, visual and ethnographic methods. She has developed cutting edge visual methodologies for understanding mundane domestic life, inspiring UK and international researchers, and leading to methodological publications in the Journal of Consumer Culture, the International Journal of Social Research Methodology and Sociological Research Online. Dr Martens is on the ESRC Peer Review College, national and international advisor on research projects, and she is a member of the Food Standards Agency’s Register of Specialists in the Social Sciences. Dr Martens has worked throughout to further the research development of early career researchers. She has led training, nationally and internationally, in the uses of computer assisted qualitative data analysis software, in accredited courses and through CPD and consultancy work. At Keele, and as Faculty Director of Postgraduate Training in Social Science and Director of the Masters in Research Methods in Social Science, she has led training and researcher development initiatives through innovative research methods modules and master classes. 

Dr Martens’ long-standing interest in understanding mundane everyday life is signalled in ESRC funded research. In the 1990s, she worked with Professor Alan Warde on research on consumption and food, which led to a series of now widely acclaimed publications, including a book on ‌ Eating Out   and an article on cultural omnivorousness, published in the major international journal Sociology. To develop innovative methodological tools for researching mundane domestic practices, Dr Martens gained ESRC funding, for a project entitled Domestic Kitchen Practices: Routines, Risks and Reflexivity, which she conducted together with Professor Sue Scott and Dr Matt Watson. The theoretical and methodological insights from this project have found resonance with growing cross-disciplinary interests in everyday routines and practices, and recent publications on this research may be found in two special issues in the Journal of Consumer Culture and The International Journal of Social Research Methodology. Most recently, I have led research, for the Food Standards Agency, to consolidate its own social science research in this area (with Professor Sarah Pink and Dr Julia Keenan).

‌Dr Martens also conducts research on cultures of intimate everyday life (children, parenting, families), and how these organise, and are organised by, the nexus of market and consumption practices. This research trajectory brings together two strands: gender and consumer culture, and children and childhood, motherhood and families. Thematic areas of interest here include the sociologies of consumption and markets, economic sociology, childhood, mothering & motherhood, family, intimate and intergenerational relationships and gender. Theoretically, Dr Martens’ publications make contributions to sociological and feminist debate on the relationship between markets and intimate life. Dr Martens’ research ongender and consumption is published in the journal Consumption, Markets and Culture, and in the edited book Gender and Consumption: ‌Domestic‌  Cultures and the Commercialisation of Everyday Life. ‌ 

   ‌An ESRC-funded seminar series on Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption, with Professor Pauline Maclaran and other consumer research colleagues, has resulted in two special issues and an edited book (Routledge 2013). Dr Martens is currently working on a single authored book entitled Childhood and Markets. The book provides an analysis of how cultural understandings of childhood are made durable through their enactment in the cultural work of selling infantile products and services. As well as demonstrating the intergenerational connections of cultural understandings of children and parents, the book points to the ways in which market agents become child-carers through their symbolic work of childhood.

Dr Martens is currently developing research on children, families, and environmental values and practices. She recently held a BA small grant entitled Children, Collecting Experience, and the Natural Environment, which is informing the development of new research collaborations in and outside Keele. The research is inspired by interdisciplinary reading across theoretical and methodological literatures from cultural geography, anthropology and sociology. Dr Martens is for instance exploring embodied modes of ethnographic research to inform questions on how ‘care’ is performed at the intersections between human and more-than-human qualities of social life.

 

 

Selected Publications

  • Martens LD. 2016. From intergenerational transmission to intra-active ethical-generational becoming: Children, parents, crabs and the activity of rockpooling. Families, Relationships and Societies.
  • Martens LD, Halkier, B, Pink, S. 2014. Introduction to Researching Habits: Advances in linguistic and embodied research practice. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, vol. 17(1), 1-9. doi>
  • O'Donohoe S, Hogg M, Maclaran P, Martens L, Stevens L. 2013. Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption: The making of mothers in contemporary western cultures. Routledge.
  • Martens, Lydia. 2014. Selling Infant Safety: Entanglements of Childhood Preciousness, Vulnerability and Unpredictability. Young Consumers, vol. 15(3), 22-33. doi>
  • O'Donohoe, Stephanie, Hogg, Margaret, Maclaran, Pauline, Martens LD, Stevens, Lorna. 2013. The Making of Mothers. In Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption: The making of mothers in contemporary western cultures. O'Donohoe S, Hogg M, Maclaran P, Martens L, Stevens L (Eds.). Routledge.

Full Publications List show

Books

  • O'Donohoe S, Hogg M, Maclaran P, Martens L, Stevens L. 2013. Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption: The making of mothers in contemporary western cultures. Routledge.
  • Casey E and Martens L. 2007. Gender and consumption: Domestic Cultures and the Commercialisation of Everyday Life. Ashgate Pub Co.
  • Warde A and Martens L. 2000. Eating Out: Social Differentiation, Consumption and Pleasure. Cambridge Univ Pr.
  • Martens L. 1997. Exclusion and Inclusion: The gender composition of British and Dutch work forces. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Journal Articles

  • Martens LD. 2016. From intergenerational transmission to intra-active ethical-generational becoming: Children, parents, crabs and the activity of rockpooling. Families, Relationships and Societies.
  • Martens, Lydia. 2014. Selling Infant Safety: Entanglements of Childhood Preciousness, Vulnerability and Unpredictability. Young Consumers, vol. 15(3), 22-33. doi>
  • Martens LD, Halkier, B, Pink, S. 2014. Introduction to Researching Habits: Advances in linguistic and embodied research practice. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, vol. 17(1), 1-9. doi>
  • Martens LD. 2012. Practice ‘In Talk’ and Talk ‘As Practice’: Dish washing and the reach of language. Sociological Research Online: an electronic journal, vol. 17(2), Article 22. doi>
  • Halkier B, Katz-Gero T, Martens L. 2011. Applying Practice Theory to the Study of Consumption: theoretical and methodological considerations - Guest Editorial Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 11(1), 3-13. doi>
  • Maclaran P, Hogg M, Martens L, O'Donohoe S, Stevens L. 2011. Guest Editorial Introduction to the Special Issue: "(Re) Creating Cultural Models of Motherhoods in Contemporary Advertising. Advertising and Society review, vol. 12.
  • Martens L. 2010. Innovations in Qualitative Research in the UK. The Language of Public Administration and Qualitative Research, vol. 1(1), 49-71.
  • Martens L and Scott S. 2006. Under the Kitchen Surface: domestic products and conflicting constructions of home. Home Cultures, vol. 3(1), 39-62. doi>
  • Martens L and Scott S. 2005. ‘The unbearable lightness of cleaning': representations of domestic practice and products in Good Housekeeping Magazine (UK): 1951-2001. Consumption Markets & Culture, vol. 8(4), 371-409. doi>
  • Martens L. 2005. Learning to consume – consuming to learn: children at the interface between consumption and education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 26(3), 343-357. doi>
  • Martens L, Southerton D, Scott S. 2004. Bringing children (and parents) into the sociology of consumption: towards a theoretical and empirical agenda. Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 4(2), 155-182. doi>
  • Olsen W, Warde A, Martens L. 2000. Social Differentiation and the Market for Eating Out in the UK. International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 19, 173-190. doi>
  • Warde A, Martens L, Olsen W. 1999. Consumption and the Problem of Variety: Cultural omnivorousness, social distinction and dining out. Sociology, vol. 33(1), 105-127.
  • Warde A and Martens L. 1998. Eating Out and the Commercialisation of Mental Life. British Food Journal, vol. 100(3), 147-153.
  • Martens L and Warde A. 1998. The Social and Symbolic Significance of Ethnic Cuisine in England: New cosmopolitanism or old xenophobia?. Sosiologisk Arbok (Yearbook of Sociology), vol. 1, 111-146.
  • Martens L. 1997. Gender and the Eating Out Experience. British Food Journal, vol. 99(1), 20-26.
  • Maclaran P, Martens L, O'Donohoe S, Stevens L, Hogg M. Guest Editors of Special Issue “(Re) Creating Cultural Models of Motherhoods in Contemporary Advertising”. Advertising and Society Review, vol. 12(2).

Chapters

  • O'Donohoe, Stephanie, Hogg, Margaret, Maclaran, Pauline, Martens LD, Stevens, Lorna. 2013. The Making of Mothers. In Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption: The making of mothers in contemporary western cultures. O'Donohoe S, Hogg M, Maclaran P, Martens L, Stevens L (Eds.). Routledge.
  • Martens LD. 2012. The Politics and Practices of Looking: CCTV Video and Domestic Kitchen Practices. In Advances in Visual Methodology. Pink S (Ed.). London: SAGE.
  • Martens L. 2010. The Cute, the Spectacle and the Practical: Narratives of new parents and babies at The Baby Show. In Childhood and Consumer Culture. Tingstad V and Buckingham D (Eds.). Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Martens L. 2009. Creating the Ethical Parent-Consumer Subject: Commerce, moralities and pedagogies in early parenthood. In Critical Pedagogies of Consumption: Living and learning in the shadow of the "shopocalypse". Sandlin JA and McLaren P (Eds.). Routledge.
  • Martens L. 2009. Feminism and the Critique of Consumer Culture: 1950-1970. In Feminism, domesticity and popular culture. Gillis S and Hollows J (Eds.). Routledge.
  • Martens L. 2009. Gender and Consumer Behaviour. In Contemporary Issues in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour. Parsons E and Maclaran P (Eds.).
  • Martens L. 2008. The Visible and Invisible: (De)regulation in contemporary cleaning practices. In Dirt. Campkin B and Cox R (Eds.). I. B. Tauris.
  • Martens L and Casey E. 2007. Afterword: Theorising gender, consumer culture and promises of betterment in late modernity. In Gender and consumption. Casey E and Martens L (Eds.). Ashgate Pub Co.
  • Casey E and Martens L. 2007. Introduction. In Gender and consumption. Casey E and Martens L (Eds.). Ashgate Pub Co.
  • Warde A and Martens L. 1999. Eating Out: Reflections on the experience of consumers in England. In The Sociology of Food and Nutrition: The social appetite. Germov J and Williams L (Eds.). Sydney: Oxford University Press.
  • Martens L and Warde A. 1999. Power and Resistance around the Dinner Table. In Consuming cultures. Hearn J and Roseneil S (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Warde A and Martens L. 1998. A Sociological Approach to Food Choice: The case of eating out. In The Nation's Diet: The social science of food choice. Murcott A (Ed.). Northcote House Pub Ltd.
  • Warde A and Martens L. 1998. The Experience of Eating Out in England. In Consuming Passions: Food in the age of Anxiety. Griffiths S and Wallace J (Eds.). Manchester: Manchester Univ Pr.
  • Martens L and Warde A. 1997. Urban Pleasure? On the meaning of eating out in a Northern City. In Food, Health, and Identity. Caplan P (Ed.). London: Routledge.

Other

  • Martens L and Scott S. 2004. Domestic Kitchen Practices: Routines, Risks and Reflexivity.

I contribute towards the undergraduate teaching programme in sociology,

  • SOC 10012 Researching British Society
  • MDS 10008 Mediated World - Module Leader
  • SOC 20046 Research Methods
  • SOC 30029 Gender and Consumption - Module Leader