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Sociology: People


Alexandra Macht

Alexandra Macht
Alexandra Macht
Edinburgh UK EH8 9JR
+44 (0)7570159672
Research Interests
Qualitative Research Methods, Adult-child relations/interactions, Sociology of emotion, Gender and parenting, Power, Masculinities, fathers and fatherhood, Identity and class culture


Between stoicism and intimacy: The social construction of paternal love (Scottish and Romanian)


Professor Lynn Jamieson

Professor Mary Holmes


In the current sociological literature, the subject of the love shared between parents and children has not yet been addressed, mostly because of the scientifically daunting task of discussing what is considered to be a highly subjective and mysterious emotional experience. However, according to the aesthetic theory of emotions postulated by Ian Burkitt (2014), emotions are complexes socially constructed in the interactions between people. In particular, the relationship between fathers and children - which has been so far considered from the point of view of father’s involvement in their children’s care and balancing work (Miller, 2010), gender equality (Doucet, 2006) and a reframing of modern fatherhood according to intimacy theory (Dermott, 2008) - has not yet been analysed from the point of view of the men’s emotionality and experiences of love.

Therefore, the present research looked into the conceptions of paternal love and how fathers think about expressing love in the family. The focus is not on the verity of fathers’ accounts of loving, or the actual emotion they might feel towards their children, but what discourses fathers draw from in describing the emotions they experience while parenting.

Presenting results from 47 qualitative semi-structured interviews with a sample of middle-class and working-class Romanian and British fathers, I will discuss how fathers’ embeddedness in a particular class, culture and family configuration guides them to adopt certain forms of emotionality. I argue that investigating love and men’s emotionality might give researchers a fresh perspective on exploring inequalities in intimate relationships.


BA in Psychology and Psychotherapy, The University of Bucharest, Romania.

MSc in Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Psychological Practice, The University of Edinburgh (passed with Distinction).

PhD in Sociology, The University of Edinburgh (funded by the ESRC).


Macht, A. (2017) “Fatherhood and Love: The social construction of paternal emotions” for Routledge - The Sociology of Emotions Series (proposal submitted)


Macht, A. (2017) “The Commodification of Intimate Fatherhood: Accounts of Love and Change from Scottish and Romanian Fathers”, Families, Relationships and Societies (major revisions).

Macht, A. (2017) “Emotional Bordering: A new concept for understanding masculine emotionality”, Sociology – The Journal of the BSA (submitted).

Macht, A.G., Popescu, R. (2016) ‘Romania country note’, in: Blum, S., Koslowski, A. and Moss, P. (eds.) International Review of Leave Policies and Research 2016 (updated yearly; available at

Macht, A. (2017) The democratic faces of Romania's caring resistance against corruption, Discover Society,  Issue 31: April.

Macht, A. (2017) Why study love? Researching involved fathers and the everyday, The Postrgraduate Gender Research Network of Scotland's Blog, 5th of April. Available at:


Macht, A. (2017) ‘Men, masculinities, music and emotions’ by DeBoise, S. (2015, Palgrave Macmillan), NORMA – The International Journal of Men and Masculinities Research (in copy-editing). 


Macht, A. (2012) When You Make Friends with the Stranger Within: Reflections on Loneliness, Dilema Veche Cultural Newspaper, March (3) (available in Romanian at:

A personal account of the experience of having travelled, lived and worked in 3 different European countries (Romania, Germany and the United Kingdom). The conclusion reflects how essential it is to look behind cultural prejudices in your daily interactions, in order to adapt to a new environment.

Macht, A. (2011) Paternity or Maternity, Dilema Veche Cultural Newspaper, November (10) (available in Romanian at:

An article focused on the father's role in a modern day family. It outlines the social pressures of having both parents identify with certain out-dated gender roles in their parenting which no longer reflect the practical demands of modern care-giving. Giving a brief overview of the way the father's role has evolved since the beginning of the 19th century and how the contemporary debate surrounding the changes in the family are affecting policies. The main argument is for the higher inclusion of fathers in psychological research.


Research Assistant (2016 & 2017) – editing The International Review of Leave Policies and Research (with dr. Alison Koslowski).

Research Assistant (2016) -  developped alongside dr. Morag Treanor a literature review on child poverty commissioned by the South Ayrshire Local Council & What Works Scotland, at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships.

Research Assistant (2015) – edited the final manuscript for the book An end to the crisis of empirical sociology? Trends and Challenges in Sociological Research (2016) by Louise Ryan and Linda McKie.  


January 2017 – April 2017:

  • Global Politics of Sex and Gender (Honours – Politics)
  • Working and Relating: Developing your people’s skills (Undergraduate – Social Work)

September 2016 – December 2016:

  • Sociology 2A: Thinking Sociologically (Core Undergraduate – Sociology)
  • The Sociology of Emotions (Honours - Sociology)

Guest Lecture: ‘Masculinities: from Margin to Centre’ for the course Gender, Marginality and Social Change (convened by dr. Radhika Govinda).

Guest Lecture: ‘Love and Power: Sociological Perspectives’ for the course The Sociology of Emotions (convened by dr. Mary Holmes).


  • September, 2017: “Romania’s maternity and paternity leave policies in the context of decreasing fertility indices”, at The International Leave Policies and Research Network’s  Annual Conference, at Charles University, Prague, The Czech Republic (scheduled to present).
  • August, 2017: “The Commodification of Intimate Fatherhood: Accounts of Love and Change from Scottish and Romanian Fathers”, at The European Sociological Association’s 13th Conference, at Panteion University, Athens, Greece (scheduled to present).
  • June, 2017:  “Emotional Bordering: A new concept for understanding masculine emotionality” at The Men and Masculinities International Conference, Örebro University, Sweden (scheduled to present).

Previously and successfully disseminated results of doctoral & master’s research at:

September, 2016 – The BSA Emotions Study Group: Emotions in the Social World Workshop, at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

June, 2016: The Centre for Research for Families and Relationships’ International Conference, Edinburgh, UK.

April, 2016: The British Sociological Association’s Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.

May, 2013: The Centre for Research of Families and Relationships New Researchers Conference, Edinburgh, UK.

April, 2013: The University of Edinburgh’s School of Health Postgraduate Conference, Edinburgh.

September, 2012: The British Psychological Society’s Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference, Manchester, UK.

Organizing team-member for the following conferences:

  • July, 2014: Edinburgh Sociology 50 Years of Engaging with the Contemporary Conference, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Edinburgh.
  • May, 2012: The Annual Cognitive Behavioural Conference, School of Health in Social Science, The University of Edinburgh.

Professional Training

  • November, 2010 until May, 2011:  Psychoanalytic Developmental Studies, at The Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Leeds, UK.


Member of the BSA (British Sociological Society) & The BSA Emotions Study Group, ESA (European Sociological Society), INLPR (International Network of Leave Policies and Research) and PGRNS (Postrgraduate Gender Research Network Scotland).


(2012) ESRC Grant, DTC Pathway: The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships -

(2014) The Work Experience Award , The University of Edinburgh. 

(2016) Awarded participation on the ESA PhD Summer School on Academic Journal Writing: Developing a publishing strategy, at New University of Lisbon- FCSH, Portugal.

(2017) The Edinburgh Teaching Award, IAD & The University of Edinburgh (in preparation)


  • EUSA Student Exhibitions at Teviot House, Edinburgh - from January 2016 until May 2016.
  • ‘Colourscapes’ at the Cameo Picturehouse Bar, Edinburgh - from April 2016 until May 2016.