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Title: Towards a genealogy of teenage pregnancy in Britain, 1955-1968
Author: Koffman, Ofra
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 0580
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis presents a genealogical enquiry into the emergence of the governmental field of teenage pregnancy. The enquiry focuses on governmental work with unmarried mothers during the late 1950s and 1960s, and identifies the changes in governmental discourses and practices associated with the emergence of the problematization of the teenage unmarried other. The data is drawn from the governmental publications and from the archive records of the London County Council. The thesis: (1) describes the two key problematizations of unmarried mothers in Britain during the late 1950s and 1960s: the moral and the psychological; (2) examines the place of the psychological concept of adolescence as a distinct developmental stage within these problematizations; (3) presents two case-studies of government and voluntary work with unmarried mothers and examines the influence of the moral and psychological perspectives; (4) charts the rise of governmental concern with the sexually active adolescent in the years following the Second World War; (5) describes the way in which the concern with the governance of the sexually active teenager contributed to the emergence of the teenage unmarried mother as a distinct field of governmental work; (6) outlines the characteristics of the problematization of the teenage unmarried mother and portrays the work of the first Mother and Baby Home which specialised in the care of schoolfirl unmarried mothers. It is concluded that the emergence of the teenage unmarried mother as an object of governmental concern was associated with two key discursive shifts: a shift from 'unmarried mother' to 'teenager' as the key term denoting a young woman's subjectivity; second, a shift from a notion of motherhood as a devise for transforming a woman's subjectivity to a physchological discourse of motherhood concerned with a woman's ability to generate healthy development in her child.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral