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Title: Juvenile de-pauperisation : the journey from public childcare to English citizenship, 1884-1900
Author: Pimm-Smith, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 8801
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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The first powers to allow the custody of a child to be transferred to the English state without parental consent were initiated during the late-nineteenth century. The New Poor Laws were used for this purpose. Intervention was justified on the basis that children whose parents needed public support required protection because their families were moral contaminants due to their dependency. The state sought custody of juvenile paupers so they could ‘de-pauperise’ them through different systems of public childcare so that they could be trained to become economically productive citizens who contributed to the interests of the state as adults. This thesis explores whether these objectives were achieved over the long term. In the process of conducting this investigation the narrative of protection as the basis for public law interference in the private sphere is challenged because notions of protectionism are contextualised within a wider framework of imposed citizenship. The history of child protection shows us that the state initiated interventionist power for the purpose of moral reform but presented it as an act of rescue. This project concludes that some reformation objectives were fulfilled while others were not; but its most important contributions are twofold. Firstly, this thesis situates original public law interference between parents and children within the broader socio-legal landscape of material survival during a period of severe austerity. By doing this, a second contribution is also made. Repositioning interventionist power within a framework of citizenship reform forces certain popular assumptions about the nature of child poverty during this period to be unseated. This raises important questions about the legitimacy of Victorian efforts to erode parental rights.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: KF England and Wales ; HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman