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British interpretations of midnineteenth-century racial demographics
Kathrin Levitan

prove a leaven of social disorder and disorganisation. 73 Since Farr specifically mentioned the possibility of cruelty he clearly understood the more sinister implications of eugenics. But Farr believed that just as the nation ought to take control of its own public health, the ‘biological future’ was also subject to human control. 74 Reproduction, he thought, could and

in Empire, migration and identity in the British world
When it’s about racism
Omar Khan

as decency or harm). That is a fairly standard and in my view correct argument, but it sometimes mistakes the relevant terrain of dispute: many defenders of a particular speech act should instead be viewed as denying that the speech act in question is in fact racist. This is because most if not all participants in the endless free speech debates do in fact think that some speech acts are indefensible, or racist to the point of inciting harm. An argument in favour of eugenics might not pass this threshold, but one advocating genocide probably would, for the

in The free speech wars
Abstract only
Amy Milne-Smith

legacies of Victorian society continued into the twentieth century, though often in their darkest and most cynical forms. Theories of degeneration hardened into eugenics. Somatic theories led to horrific psychosurgeries that may never have been contemplated without late Victorian pessimism about asylum care. Alfred Fuller was placed under asylum care in October1867 by his mother. He was twenty-one and suffering his first attack of insanity. The illness came on suddenly, and the young man was apprehended by police in Bath as a wandering lunatic. He was described as always

in Out of his mind
Abstract only
Ulrike Ehret

, it was able to permeate a far broader section of Catholic society. Compared with Germany, Catholic antisemitism in England often had a discernible premodern element in it. From an examination of the use of religious and racial antisemitic stereotypes, where the latter usually signifies more modern forms of Jew-hatred, it is clear that the religious foundation was more important in England. This could be seen in the fact that missionary work among the Jews was warmly supported by lay Catholics in England. The diametrically opposed attitude to eugenics in both

in Church, nation and race
Peter Triantafillou and Naja Vucina

, constituted the predominant form of preventive health strategy in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century (McKeown, 1979). However, two other preventive strategies played a significant role in early British health policy: inoculation and eugenics. Introduced in 1840 as a voluntary measure, inoculation against smallpox was made compulsory for all infants in 1853 and for all under the age 14 in 1867. Although forced inoculation was met with substantial resistance from various political, scientific, and Christian groups (MacLeod, 1967a, 1967b), the new biopolitical

in The politics of health promotion
A British–French comparison
Caroline Rusterholz

encompassed many aspects of the population question: the issue of space, world resources, food, population growth, eugenics, political economy and natural history, among others. These international meetings paved the way for the increasing importance of conferences as spaces for knowledge acquisition and transfer across national borders. In the following decade, three international neo-Malthusian and birth control conferences took place: London (1922), New York (1925) and Zurich (1930). For the first time, birth control was included in the title

in Women’s medicine
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Sue Wheatcroft

children were perceived by the government, and the general public, it is necessary to discuss some aspects of the political and social climate. In the 1930s the belief that certain disabilities were hereditary prevailed among many members of the government. The following section discusses some of the ways in which those responsible for disabled children addressed this belief. The political and social climate Perhaps the greatest challenge to disabled children (and adults) in the first half of the twentieth century came from the eugenics movement, which came to prominence

in Worth saving
Transgender patients in early Swedish medical research
Julian Honkasalo

people on behalf of claims to social integration’ (15–16, my emphasis). I begin by giving my interpretation of Foucault’s notion of ‘state racism’ as a biopolitical account of eugenics. I then move to examine the history of the Swedish, state-controlled diagnostic process of ‘transsexuality’ in the context of bioprecarity and intimate labour. I will also analyse how American sexology shaped the Swedish discourse. Finally, I will locate points of tension, disruption, intervention and resistance in the midst of bioprecarization. ‘Racism against the abnormal

in Bodily interventions and intimate labour
The demonic adoptee in The Bad Seed (1954)
Elisabeth Wesseling

of physical features, intelligence, religion and class background. This paradigm was developed in response to the turn-of-the-century eugenics movement, which was outspokenly anti-adoption. From a eugenic point of view, it was irresponsibly risky to import children from largely unknown family backgrounds into successful, healthy middle-class families, where they could become a liability as soon as

in Gothic kinship
Abstract only
Ben Jackson

working class would require a significant degree of economic redistribution and educational reform. Eugenics and equal opportunity But this focus on equalising opportunities through redistribution and widening educational access raised a difficult question for the egalitarians of this period. To what extent were the natural endowments of individuals fixed by hereditary rather than environmental factors, and what did this imply for public policy? As I will discuss in the final chapter of this book, egalitarians after the Second World War faced a similar question. Influenced

in Equality and the British Left