Based on a new body of 160 oral history interviews, this fascinating volume offers the first comprehensive historical study of the experience of motherhood in the second half of the twentieth century. In her thematic study of an area where a number of discourses and practices meet, Davis sheds new light on aspects of mothers' lives such as education, health care, psychology, labour market trends and state intervention.
Looking through the prism of motherhood to provide a way of understanding the complex social changes that have taken place in the post-war world, Davis considers how women's experiences of motherhood reflect and reveal changes within women's lives, gender relations, culture and society, family and community patterns, health and welfare, and the relationship between the family and the state. Drawing on the themes of continuity and change the book examines the legacies of these developments and asks what they indicate about both the past and future of motherhood in England.
This book will be essential reading for students and researchers in the field of twentieth-century British social history, sociology, psychology, and gender studies as well as anyone interested in the history of family and community in Britain.