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Maternal health in English prisons, 1853–1955

Should pregnant women be sent to prison? Is prison a place for the birth and care of babies? Can it ever be? This book is the first extensive historical examination of how the modern prison system sought to answer these perennial questions. The book takes the reader through the prison gates to demonstrate that, although a common feature of everyday life in women’s prisons, pregnancy, birth and motherhood were rarely fully considered at policy level. Instead, the experiences of mothers and children were shaped by a myriad of factors including debates about reconciling the management of institutional discipline with the maintenance of health and issues of gender and class. Lamented as an inalienable heritage of woe but also as an opportunity for the closer supervision of mothers, prison births evoked intense debate and required the negotiation of obdurate regimes. The book reveals how oscillating debates about the purpose of prisons shaped the punitive, reformatory and medical treatment of confined mothers. It also challenges scholarly debates about institutional discipline by delving further into the role of prisoners and prison staff in shaping the terms of their incarceration.

Rachel E. Bennett

what made a ‘good mother’ prompting debate and scrutiny within medical, social and government discourse. Using the prison as its setting, this chapter advances our understanding of the shifting views about, and expectations placed upon, mothers between the mid-nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century. It uncovers the efforts made to educate female prisoners in domesticity and mothercraft and to use this instruction as a reformative tool. Throughout this period, women, particularly mothers, who committed crimes were subject to especial censure

in Motherhood confined
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Communist mothercraft and childrearing
Thomas Linehan

Linehan 01 13/6/07 11:40 Page 11 1 In the home: communist mothercraft and childrearing If only women could realize that children are works of art and that by giving them birth the mother has finished with all the creative part of her work and has now only to take care of the result – just in the same way that a picture must be kept warm and dry, suitably framed, hung in the right place, ‘given the right setting’.1 ‘I think that the bearing and rearing of healthy children by the workers cannot be stressed too much. Such a strain will be put on them later

in Communism in Britain 1920–39
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Maternal welfare and child health, 1920–40
Lindsey Earner-Byrne

3 The Dublin mother: maternal welfare and child health, 1920–40 Without doubt, apart from the special needy cases, ignorance on the part of young mothers is one of the greatest factors in the production of our high infant mortality rates; and, it is the wide-spread teaching of the simple rules of mothercraft we must rely upon if we are to save the babies and reduce the high death-rates … The mother has now every opportunity at her door for obtaining the necessary advice as to how to rear her infant, but the Treasury … has not provided adequately to give

in Mother and child
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Humanity and relief in war and peace
Rebecca Gill

’ approaches had come into fashion following the war. 11 In 1918, state legislation provided for nation-wide mother and baby clinics at which advice was given and ‘normal’ behaviour and growth were measured. During the 1920s and 1930s the BRCS participated in this ‘mothercraft’ movement, training VADs in the hygienic care of young children. Publications such as Mabel Liddiard

in Calculating compassion
From the cradle to the grave

This book is a study of the communist life and the communist experience of membership. The study places itself on the interface between the membership and the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) by considering the efforts of the latter to give shape to that experience. For those who opted to commit fully to the communist way of life it would offer a complete identity and reach into virtually all aspects of life and personal development. In regard to the latter, through participation in the communist life 'joiners' gained a positive role in life, self-esteem, intellectual development, skills in self-expression, and opportunities to acquire status and empowerment through activities like office-holding or public speaking. The British Communist Party had a strong and quite marked generational focus, in that it sought to address the experience of Party life and membership at the principal phases of the life cycle. The Party developed rites of passage to guide its 'charges' through the different stages of the life cycle. Thus its reach extended to take in children, youth, and the adult experience, including marriage and aspects of the marital and family relationship. The Party did not disengage even at the beginning and termination of the life cycle. Its spokespersons advised communist mothers on birth and mothercraft, 'red' parents on childrearing, and addressed the experience of death and mourning within the communist domain.

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Infant care into the peace
Trudi Tate

commentators as providing much useful education and support to mothers. It continued for more than a decade,57 and brought a number of self-proclaimed baby ‘experts’ into public prominence.58 Truby King One of the most influential voices in this period was a New Zealander named Frederic Truby King (1858–1938). He was invited to Britain in 1917 to contribute to the campaigns to improve infant health. In 1918 he established a mothercraft training centre in London for the Babies of the Empire Society, and was involved in the activities of Baby Week 1918.59 After he left Britain

in The silent morning
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

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Thomas Linehan

mothercraft, ‘red’ parents on childrearing, and addressed the experience of death and mourning within the communist domain. It is a further contention of this book that it was this generational dimension, in conjunction with those aspects mentioned above, which helped give the communist life its quite particular flavour and helped confer an almost total character on the communist experience. To some extent, some of the elements of the communist life that feature in this book were pre-figured in certain of the activities of earlier organisations on the political Left. In a

in Communism in Britain 1920–39
Gender and development discourse and practice in late colonial Africa
Barbara Bush

(homecraft and mothercraft skills) and the education of girls was indivisible. Hailey’s report notes that by the late 1930s mission stations provided some ‘valuable, if limited, training in domestic sciences, the care of children, nursing and midwifery and as teachers’; in Northern Rhodesia, the Jeanes School for Girls, subsidised by the Carnegie Corporation and the government

in Developing Africa