Poverty, Charity, and Motherhood

Poverty, Charity, and Motherhood

Maternal Societies in Nineteenth-century France

eBook - 2010
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This far-reaching study of maternal societies in post-revolutionary France focuses on the philanthropic work of the Society for Maternal Charity, the most prominent organization of its kind. Administered by middle-class and elite women and financed by powerful families and the government, the Society offered support to poor mothers, helping them to nurse and encouraging them not to abandon their children. In Poverty, Charity, and Motherhood, Christine Adams traces the Society's key role in shaping notions of maternity and in shifting the care of poor families from the hands of charitable volunteers with religious-tinged social visions to paid welfare workers with secular goals such as population growth and patriotism.
Adams plumbs the origin and ideology of the Society and its branches, showing how elite women in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Rouen, Marseille, Dijon, and Limoges tried to influence the maternal behavior of women and families with lesser financial means and social status. A deft analysis of the philosophy and goals of the Society details the members' own notions of good mothering, family solidarity, and legitimate marriages that structured official, elite, and popular attitudes concerning gender and poverty in France. These personal attitudes, Adams argues, greatly influenced public policy and shaped the country's burgeoning social welfare system.


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This far-reaching study of maternal societies in post-Revolutionary France focuses on the philanthropic work of the Society for Maternal Charity, the most prominent organization of its kind. Administered by middle-class and elite women and financed by powerful families and the government, the Society offered support to poor mothers, helping them to nurse and encouraging them not to abandon their children. In Poverty, Charity, and Motherhood, Christine Adams traces the Society's key role in shaping notions of maternity and in shifting the care of poor families from the hands of charitable volunteers with religious-tinged social visions to paid welfare workers with secular goals such as population growth and patriotism. Adams plumbs the Society's origin and ideology and its branches, showing how elite women in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Rouen, Marseille, Dijon, and Limoges tried to influence the maternal behavior of women and families with lesser financial means and social status.
This far-reaching study of maternal societies in post-Revolutionary France focuses on the philanthropic work of the Society for Maternal Charity, the most prominent organization of its kind. Administered by middle-class and elite women and financed by powerful families and the government, the Society offered support to poor mothers, helping them to nurse and encouraging them not to abandon their children._x000B__x000B_In Poverty, Charity, and Motherhood, Christine Adams traces the Society's key role in shaping notions of maternity and in shifting the care of poor families from the hands of charitable volunteers with religious-tinged social visions to paid welfare workers with secular goals such as population growth and patriotism._x000B__x000B_Adams plumbs the origin and ideology of the Society and its branches, showing how elite women in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Rouen, Marseille, Dijon, and Limoges tried to influence the maternal behavior of women and families with lesser financial means and social status. A deft analysis of the philosophy and goals of the Society details the women's own notions of good mothering, family solidarity, and legitimate marriages that structured official, elite, and popular attitudes concerning gender and poverty in France. These personal attitudes, Adams argues, greatly influenced public policy and shaped the country's burgeoning social welfare system.

Book News
The records of the Society, says Adams (history, St. Mary's College, Maryland) show how women of the bourgeoisie in all the major French cities urged maternal identities upon women of the working class who had abandoned theirs, more often through necessity than neglect. She argues that the efforts of the organization's members to spread their ideals of motherhood should be integrated into the larger story of the development of the welfare state in France. Her topics are the origin of the Society for Maternal Charity, the Society under Napoleon, relations between the dames visiteuses and the pauvres mères indigentes, charitable associations and public-utility status, and maternal society and the state. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, ©2010
ISBN: 9780252090011
0252090012
025203547X
9780252035470
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xi, 251 pages)
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