Oral history and the creation of collective memories: women’s experiences of motherhood in Oxfordshire c. 1945-1970
Davis, Angela. (2006) Oral history and the creation of collective memories: women’s experiences of motherhood in Oxfordshire c. 1945-1970. University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History (10). pp. 1-10.Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/history/research/usjch/pas...
The birth of a first child was a life-transforming event for most women in the years between 1945 and 1970. The post-war period was also a time when much about women’s position in society was under change. Married women were increasingly likely to participate in the workforce; early marriage, smaller families and longer life expectancy meant that childbearing no longer filled a woman’s whole life; contraception enabled women to plan their families and have control over their own bodies. The combined effects of post-war prosperity and social reforms meant that women were better educated, better fed and had improved access to health care, and women’s interactions with maternity services were greatly transformed. Women’s experiences during World War Two, with their participation in the war effort, had given them an increasing role in the public sphere. In reaction to this upheaval the growing emphasis on motherhood gave credence to the view that women’s place was still in the home. This article will examine the relationship between the public and private in women’s conception of themselves as mothers, both at the time and in the present day. It will discuss the ways in which women create an image of themselves as mothers, and how they present this image to a wider audience, in the course of oral history interviews. It will investigate the relationships between discourses of motherhood and the thoughts of the women themselves, to see the connection between the public imagery of motherhood and women’s private identities.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > History|
|Journal or Publication Title:||University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History|
|Publisher:||University of Sussex, Graduate Research Centre in the Humanities|
|Page Range:||pp. 1-10|
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