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Author Thane, Pat.
Title Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? : unmarried motherhood in twentieth-century England / Pat Thane and Tanya Evans.
Imprint New York : Oxford University Press, 2012.

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Author Thane, Pat.
Subject Unmarried mothers -- England -- London -- History -- 18th century.
Public welfare -- England -- History -- 20th century.
Alt Name Evans, Tanya, 1972-
Description 1 online resource
polychrome rdacc
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Secrets and lies : being and becoming an unmarried mother in early-twentieth-century England -- Between the wars -- The Second World War : another moral panic -- Unmarried motherhood in "family Britain" : challenging Bowlby -- Unmarried mothers in the "welfare state" -- The permissive society? Unmarried motherhood in the 1960s -- A finer future? -- The struggle continues : 1980s-90s -- Into the twenty-first century : progress?
Summary This is the first book to describe the real lives of unmarried mothers, and attitudes towards them, in England from the First World War to the present day. The focus is on England because the legal positions, and other circumstances, of unmarried mothers were often very different elsewhere in Britain. The authors use biographies and memoirs, as well as archives and official sources, to challenge stereotypes of the mothers as desolate women, rejected by society and by their families, until social attitudes were transformed in the 'permissive' 1960s. They demonstrate the diversity of their lives, their social backgrounds, and how often they were supported by their families, neighbours, and the fathers of their children before the 1960s, and the continuing hostility by somesections of society since then. They challenge stereotypes, too, about the impact of war on sexual behaviour, and about the stability of family life before the 1960s. Much of the evidence comes from the records of the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and Her Child, set up by prominent people in 1918 to help a social group they believed were neglected, and which is still very active today, as Gingerbread, supporting lone parents in need of help. Their work tells us not only about the lives of those mothers and children who had no other support, but also another important story about the vibrancy of voluntary action throughout the past century andits continuing vital role, working alongside and in co-operation with the Welfare State to help mothers into work among other things. Their history is an inspiring example of how, throughout the past century, voluntary organizations in the 'Big Society' worked with, not against, the 'BigState'.
Note Print version record.
ISBN 9780191612206 (electronic bk.)
0191612200 (electronic bk.)
OCLC # 795705253
Additional Format Print version: Thane, Pat. Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? New York : Oxford University Press, 2012 9780199578504 (DLC) 2012006102 (OCoLC)778636711

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