Log in to access the full article.
This article examines the links between working-class home ownership and family limitation in interwar Britain. Purchasing a suburban house enabled families to buy into a new, aspirational model of working-class respectability. Embracing this model entailed increased accommodation costs and higher levels of conspicuous consumption, placing great strains on many household budgets. Owner-occupiers therefore sought to limit the size of their families in order to sustain their new lifestyles. Meanwhile the new suburban ideology strongly emphasized improved standards of childcare, based around creating a high-quality domestic environment, and thus directly encouraged families to aim for fewer, but better-resourced children.