Rachel Fuchs shows how poor urban women in Paris negotiated their environment, and in some respects helped shape it, in their attempt to cope with their problems of poverty and pregnancy. She reveals who the women were and provides insight into the nature of their work and living arrangements. With dramatic detail, and drawing on actual court testimonies, Fuchs portrays poor women's childbirth experiences, their use of charity and welfare, and their recourse to abortion and infanticide as desperate alternatives to motherhood.
Fuchs also provides a comprehensive description of philanthropic and welfare institutions and outlines the relationship between the developing welfare state and official conceptions of womanhood. She traces the evolution of a new morality among policymakers in which secular views, medical hygiene, and a new focus on the protection of children replaced religious morality as a driving force in policy formation.
Combining social, intellectual, and medical history, this study of poor mothers in nineteenth-century society illuminates both class and gender relations in Paris, and illustrates the connection between social policy and the way ordinary women lived their lives.
Author : Rachel Fuchs
ISBN : 081351780X
Language : English
No of Pages : 344
Publication Date : 5/1/1992
Format/Binding : Paperback
Book dimensions : 8.98x6.04x0.88
Book weight : 0.01
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