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Modern MotherhoodWomen and Family in England, 1945-2000$
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Angela Davis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719084553

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719084553.001.0001

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(p.207) 8 Conclusions
Modern Motherhood

Angela Davis

Manchester University Press

This chapter summarises the book’s principal conclusions about the experience of motherhood in England in the post-1945 decades. It concludes that motherhood is a subject fraught with contradictions and ambiguities and these tensions are reflected in the way women now articulate their attitudes to, and experiences of, motherhood. It demonstrates the real difficulties that mothers from all backgrounds have faced and which were visible in all aspects of their lives. However it also argues that the stereotyping of the immediate post-war period as one of conservatism before the changes that began in the late 1960s and 1970s means that women’s activism and the ways in which they were already organising themselves to improve their lives has tended to be disregarded. Women used their shared experience of being mothers of young children to develop social networks and form communities of women with the aim of alleviating some of difficulties and inequities they faced.

Keywords:   Motherhood, Social change, Twentieth century Britain

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