In contrast to the views of a continuing degradation of mothering, discussed in the previous section, an examination of mothering in this century shows how diverse the history of motherhood and mothering has been for different groups of women, particularly the married and the unmarried, the middle class and the working class. By concentrating on the period since the beginning of the twentieth century in Britain, this section examines the relationship between socio-economic conditions and transformations in mothering over time. The focus is on sexuality, employment and child care.4 The choice of these aspects reflects the concerns of the historical analyses discussed above. Motherhood and mothering are linked in those analyses to social modes of organizing and controlling sexuality, affectionate interactions, and parenting relationships. Since these modes are strongly moulded by mothers’ roles in work and labour, the section also focuses on employment.5