Mødrehjælpen og de enlige mødre 1939-1960

Line Tingrupp Tresselt

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This master thesis deals with the social work of the danish Mothers’ aid institution Mødrehjælpen and single mothers in Copenhagen in the years 1939 – 1960. The main purpose of the thesis is to investigate how the social agency of Mødrehjælpen contributed to make the position of single motherhood possible. Trough theoretical framework on modernity of Anthony Gidden and Jeffrey Weeks, the thesis seeks to consider how the social work of Mødrehjælpen and the single mothers themselves, contributed to a transformation in intimacy and the rupture of traditional family patterns. The thesis analyzes a range of historical source material of the institution’s agency, which also includes an analysis of selected case records of single mothers to show how the institutions work methods evolved in the practical case work. The thesis discusses to main themes in the investigation. First of all, it discusses how both discipline and social care was a part of the institution’s agency. Second, the thesis discusses how the agency of Mødrehjælpen, the social workers, and the single mothers can be perceived, as being a part of the process of transformation.
The thesis shows, that Mødrehjælpen made the position of single motherhood possible in both financial and social ways. First of all the institution articulated professional principles for social work, which included personal counselling and the idea of self-help- and long-term oriented solutions to social problems, that supported the living of single mothers as self-supporting citizens.
Furthermore it concludes, that the personal counseling by underlining the importance individuality and self-responsibility claimed the principle of autonomy on behalf of the single mothers, and offered the single mothers’ new options of agency. In that way Mødrehjælpen helped the democratizing of the intimate life of single mothers and thereby contributed to a transformation that, today, have brought along a pluralization of families, and broadening of reproductive rights

UddannelserHistorie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato4 jul. 2019
VejledereKarin Cohr Lützen


  • Mødrehjælpen
  • enlige mødre
  • Linda Gordon
  • Jeffrey Weeks
  • socialt arbejde