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An Alternative Approach to Child Rescue: child emigration societies in Birmingham and Manchester, 1870-1914

WARD, REBECCA,ROSE (2010) An Alternative Approach to Child Rescue: child emigration societies in Birmingham and Manchester, 1870-1914. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This study analyses the operations and activities of two child emigration societies based in Birmingham and Manchester between 1870 and 1914. It argues that both societies marketed and promoted their work as an alternative approach to ‘child rescue’. Doing so places them in the wider context of a child emigration movement and a child rescue movement, both of which flourished between the end of the nineteenth century and start of the twentieth century. It also suggests that the founders and staff at these child emigration societies reflected and exploited contemporary ideals, beliefs and fears, particularly about the role of the child and the family within society, the expense of poor law relief, social problems in urban cities and the need for empire strengthening. To persuade people that transplanting children overseas was an alternative form of child rescue, the two societies in Birmingham and Manchester presented a self-created image of their work, which they could change, manipulate and re-adjust to suit their purposes.

Chapter One analyses the motivating factors for child emigration societies to begin their work in Birmingham and Manchester, as well as the subsequent justifications they used to explain their work. Chapter Two assesses the communication and co-operation between the regional child emigration organisations and others involved in child rescue, their relations with government agencies and the ways in which external influences shaped their activities. Chapter Three analyses how the two societies generated and maintained support for their activities through interaction with local people, in both England and Canada. Chapter Four examines how they responded to contemporary challenges and criticisms regarding the welfare of children under their guardianship. This includes an analysis of the ways in which they explained their methods of caring for, training and protecting the children as an alternative approach to child rescue.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:child emigration; child rescue; John T. Middlemore; Leonard K. Shaw; Children's Emigration Homes; Manchester and Salford Boys' and Girls' Refuges and Homes; Victorian philanthropy; Edwardian philanthropy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Feb 2011 11:44

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