Guardians of health
Cholera, collectivity and the care of the social body
in Performing medicine
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This chapter demonstrates how, through co-ordinated activity, through the experience of the cholera epidemic and through the elaboration of statistics, the medical practitioners of York constructed the social as a legitimate sphere of interest and activity. The cholera epidemic did not guarantee a uniform or consistent involvement by medical practitioners in the field of public health. In the immediate aftermath of the epidemic, a large number of medical practitioners used their experiences of the disease to locate themselves within a pan-national discourse of cholera and to contribute to debates about its nature, management and treatment. To a great extent, the visions of medical service were channelled through new forms of social organisation and formulated within new ideological frameworks, for the medicalisation of the social body. This was matched by a commensurate process: the socialisation of the medical body.

Performing medicine

Medical culture and identity in provincial England, c.1760–1850


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