School of Social and Political Science

Sheree Sartain

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Infant Welfare and 'Maternal Ignorance': Somers Town c1900

Thesis Outline

The relationship between motherhood and Britain's imperial role in South Africa can be clearly seen in public discourse about 'national efficiency' and 'maternal ignorance' c1900, but there has been no research that explores this relationship at a level where it influences the lives of individual women. Sheree's thesis examines the discourse and practices surrounding infant welfare and mortality, and maternal care in Somers Town, London at the turn of the 20th century. Focussing particularly on the subject of infant death by 'overlaying' Sheree uses archival sources to explore the portrayal of mothers and their 'overlain' infants during a period when offical understanding of such deaths was often contentious and contradictory.

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Prof. Liz Stanley, Sociology & Director of Centre for NABS.


  • M.Res (Social Research), University of Aberdeen
  • MA (Hons) Sociology & Politics, University of Aberdeen
  • Dip HE (Social Science), UHI

Selected Publications

Looking at Scotland's Future: Using Futures Scenarios in the Rural Voluntary Sector, SCVO. 2006

Mapping the Voluntary Sector in Scotland, SCVO. 2005

Critical Concepts in Sociology (Ed), Routledge, 2003

Advisory Group Membership:

Providing Homelessness Support in Rural and Remote Areas, Communities Scotland,2006

Carnegie UK Trust, Carnegie Rural Action Programme,2006

Research Projects:

Rural Futures, focus groups for organisational strategy and policy development

NPP Deserve, research coordination and evaluation for rural service provision

Employment History

Rural Research Networks Officer, SCVO

Research Coordinator, NPP DESERVE Project

Researcher, Education Services, The Highland Council

Course Leader, University of Newcastle

Researcher, Prof Roland Robertson, Aberdeen University

Tutor, University of Aberdeen

Researcher, Body Group, Aberdeen University

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