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For Better or for Worse? The Dilemmas of Unmarried Motherhood in Mid‐Twentieth‐Century Popular British Film and Fiction

Fink, Janet (2011) For Better or for Worse? The Dilemmas of Unmarried Motherhood in Mid‐Twentieth‐Century Popular British Film and Fiction. Women's History Review, 20 (1). pp. 145-160. ISSN 0961-2025

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Abstract

This article investigates representations of unmarried motherhood in the late 1940s and early 1950s through readings of popular British film and fiction. These sources are used to illustrate contradictions and conflicts in the meanings afforded to unmarried motherhood and, in turn, to highlight how the unmarried mother was used as a motif for exploring post‐war normative boundaries around marriage, motherhood, and female sexuality. The article draws upon Raymond Williams’s idea of a ‘structure of feeling’ to make connections between these representations and issues and debates about the role and status of women and mothers more generally in post‐war Britain.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 14:38
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2015 14:38
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/23807

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