Saturday, February 23, 2013
I remember my mother and grandmother being very concerned with this in the fifties and sixties. I think my mother was indeed plagued by the responsibility of having a respectable family--one that wasn't gossipped about. I am afraid I gave her some cause for concern in my fourteenth and fifteenth year. (Nothing that today would have even been glanced at though)
When did "respectability" begin to fade as a concern for lower middle-class families? I had a friend who got pregnant circa 1963 and disappeared for six months. I hope she was at some point reunited with her child.
You can also look at those convents in Ireland (The Magdalene Sisters) who took in girls that in any way worried their families.
Other than in extremely religious communities, respectability has faded. (Look at Bristol Palin for example). Where did these convention go and why?