chapter
Images of Pregnancy in Antenatal Literature
ByHilary Graham
Pages 26

15The observation is often made that child-rearing has become a major cultural preoccupation in Western society. This particular predilection has been explored in some depth by social scientists and historians, with several studies charting its historical evolution and the present-day patterns of attitudes and practices. 1 Such studies have drawn attention to a distinctive feature of the contemporary approach to parenthood, namely the reliance upon specialist knowledge gleaned from outside the traditional family and community networks. This professional guidance is provided through contact with the socially appointed experts, the doctor, the health visitor, the social worker, and, more particularly, through an increasing proliferation of sophisticated books, magazines and leaflets, complemented by educational programmes on television and radio.