Motherhood in France

The changing face of motherhood in Austria — download the full report in pdf format Click on the accompanying image to download and read the full document using Adobe's Acrobat Reader.


The Future of Freemasonry

An examination of the role of Freemasonry in the 21st century


This report is, as far as we know, an account of the first ever study that has been commissioned by Freemasons from a non-Masonic body. None of the SIRC members involved in the project are Freemasons, a fact that evoked surprise and welcome in equal measure from the Lodge members we met. more

The Changing Face of Motherhood

Insights from three generations of mothers

Recession Generation

The report seeks to answer some specific questions about the changing face of motherhood and determine the extent to which modern ‘solutions’ to motherhood are more or less beneficial than the solutions of the past. more

The impact of the commercial world on children's wellbeing

Report of an independent assessment

The impact of the commercial world on children's wellbeing

Two years ago, in the Children's Plan, the DCSF committed itself to commission an independent assessment of the impact of the commercial world on children's wellbeing. That assessment, led by Professor David Buckingham, is now complete. As part of the process SIRC was commissioned to undertake two major reviews: Children and Family Life: Socio-Demographic Changes and The Ecology of Family Life. more

Recession Generation

Psychological impact & the lessons of recession

Recession Generation

There can be very few people in Britain who are unaware that we have been living in times of recession…It is clear that people — even those unaffected directly — are worried, especially about their future financial security. But are there some positive lessons to be learnt? more

The changing face of motherhood in France


France is the 10th best place in the world to be a mother according to the Save the Children’s 2011 State of the World’s Mothers index. France has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe as well as a high rate of female employment. Family-friendly government policies aim to assist French women in reconciling their work and family life, and achieving a healthy work-life balance remains the primary concern for many French mothers.

Historical perspectives

During the Enlightenment, motherhood, or la maternité, developed from being a necessary burden for women to evoking ideas of the happy, nurturing mother. Rousseau’s ‘Emile’ was a key contribution to this development, encapsulating the notion that la maternité was a woman’s natural role and responsibility rested with her to ensure the child was well cared for and educated and would subsequently develop into a ‘good’ citizen. This new concept of maternity became know as ‘the cult of Motherhood’ and set the scene for civic motherhood which remained the dominant attitude throughout the 19th century.

By the end of World War One, the ‘cult of motherhood’ was in decline and a more scientific, state-led approach to child rearing arose. Concerns over a shrinking population saw the prevalence of pro-natalist, anti-contraception policies in the first half of the twentieth century. Being a good mother and producing a large family became a public concern and a duty that women owed to the state…

Click here to download the report in pdf format.

The Changing Face of Motherhood research was commissioned by Procter & Gamble (P&G)