The Family and Society Programme at Demos is committed to evidence based policy-making founded on analysis of emerging trends, innovative research methods and open-mindedness about how personal and communal wellbeing are achieved. With a focus on how public policy can be better designed to give people and families more power over their lives, the programme undertakes work across the following three strands.
Our research is at the forefront of social policy on parenting and families. Our landmark reports Building Character and The Home Front drew out important connections between parenting styles and the life chances of children. Our aim is for public policy to support strong families made up of confident parents and flourishing children. To this end our research identifies the specific inequalities families experience in terms of social and material resources. We then develop policies that can redress these inequalities and support parents and children in achieving their hopes.
Our society faces an unprecedented demographic challenge in terms of its ageing population. However, too much discussion of this issue is in terms of costs alone. Whilst we acknowledge the pressing issue of how we pay for pensions and health and social care, we are concerned to view older people as one of our country’s biggest assets – an active and wise citizenry with much to contribute to our communities. Our research on ageing focuses on the social dimensions of growing older and attempts to identify opportunities for and barriers to wellbeing for older citizens.
Britain has long maintained a confused relationship with its young people – at turns eulogising and demonising them. But as we enter a sustained period of economic stagnation, with an ageing population and too few jobs, young people are in a particularly precarious position — demographically, economically and politically. Projects in this programme bring young people’s perspectives into sharper focus and map the impact of social, economic and political change on British youth.
The programme is led by Matt Grist and Louise Bazalgette. Please get in touch for more information about specific projects or if you are interested in working with us.