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Philanthropy in Birmingham and Sydney, 1860-1914: class, gender and race

Harvey, E.A.; (2011) Philanthropy in Birmingham and Sydney, 1860-1914: class, gender and race. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis considers philanthropic activities directed towards new mothers and destitute children both “at home” and in a particular colonial context. Philanthropic encounters in Birmingham and Sydney are utilised as a lens through which to explore the intersections between discourses of race, gender and class in metropole and colony. Moreover, philanthropic and missionary efforts towards women and children facilitate a broader discussion of ideas of citizenship and nation. During the period 1860 to 1914 the Australian colonies federated to become the Australian nation and governments in both Britain and Australia had begun to assume some responsibility for the welfare of their citizens/subjects. However, subtle variations in philanthropic practices in both sites reveal interesting differences in the nature of government, the pace of transition towards collectivism, as well as forms of inclusion and exclusion from the nation. This project illuminates philanthropic and missionary men and women, as well as the women and children they attempted to assist. Moreover, the employment of “respectable” men and women within charities complicates the ways in which discourses of class operated within philanthropy. Interactions between philanthropic and missionary men and women reveal gendered divisions of labour within charities; the women and children they assisted were also taught to replicate normative (middle-class) gendered forms of behaviour. Specific attention is paid to the ways in which race impacted upon philanthropic activities: throughout the experiences of Aboriginal women and children on mission stations interweave with white women and children’s experiences of philanthropy in Birmingham and Sydney. Comparisons of philanthropic efforts towards white and Aboriginal women and children highlights the “whitening” of philanthropy in the colony of New South Wales and the existence of a differentiated philanthropy. Discourses of race were also crucial to philanthropic practices in Birmingham, which strove to create good subject/mothers and citizen/children for the British nation.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Philanthropy in Birmingham and Sydney, 1860-1914: class, gender and race
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > History

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