Modern motherhood

Women and family in England, c. 1945–2000

Author: Angela Davis

This book examines women’s experiences of motherhood in England in the years between 1945 and 2000. Based on a new body of 160 oral history interviews, the book offers the first comprehensive historical study of the experience of motherhood in the second half of the twentieth century. Motherhood is an area where a number of discourses and practices meet. The book therefore forms a thematic study looking at aspects of mothers’ lives such as education, health care, psychology, labour market trends and state intervention. Looking through the prism of motherhood provides a way of understanding the complex social changes that have taken place in the post-war world. This book will be essential reading for students and researchers in the field of twentieth-century British social history. However it will also be of interest to scholars in related fields and a general readership with an interest in British social history, and the history of family and community in modern Britain.

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Winner of the Women’s History Network Book Prize, 2013


‘The book is a useful addition to the growing literature on women's lives in the post-war world and the range of women's voices demonstrates the variety of experience that depended on the serendipity of location quite as much as social class and ethnicity. It addresses themes of interest to historians of education, especially those interested in constructions of gender through education inside and outside the classroom.'
Stephanie Spencer, University of Winchester
History of Education
December 2016

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