The Representation of ‘Baby-Farmers’ in the Scottish City, 1867–1908

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Abstract

This article explores the manner in which women who provided paid childcare in
Scotland were represented and collectively labelled with the pejorative term ‘babyfarmer’
across a forty-year period. It seeks to link the figure of the ‘baby-farmer’ to
a wider sphere of discourses and moral frameworks than previously attempted,
drawing parallels with other women engaged in processes of semi-public exchange.
In so doing the article suggests a more complex articulation of gendered and spatial
identity. In particular it asserts that the portrayal of these women was inextricably
linked to wider conceptions of the Scottish city and that these pre-existing notions
of urban space were integral to the representation of gender.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-576
Number of pages17
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2014

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