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Social Bodies: Science, Reproduction, and Italian Modernity

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Social Bodies: Science, Reproduction, and Italian Modernity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Using as his example post-World War I Italy and the government's interest in the size, growth rate, and "vitality" of its national population, David Horn suggests a genealogy for our present understanding of procreation as a site for technological intervention and political contestation. Social Bodies looks at how population and reproductive bodies came to be the objects of new sciences, technologies, and government policies during this period. It examines the linked scientific constructions of Italian society as a body threatened by the "disease" of infertility, and of women and men as social bodies--located neither in nature nor in the private sphere, but in that modern domain of knowledge and intervention carved out by statistics, sociology, social hygiene, and social work.Situated at the intersection of anthropology, cultural studies, and feminist studies of science, the book explores the interrelated factors that produced the practices of reason we call social science and social planning. David Horn draws on many sources to analyze the discourses and practices of "social experts, " the resistance these encountered, and the often unintended effects of the new objectification of bodies and populations. He shows how science, while affirming that maternity was part of woman's "nature, " also worked to remove reproduction from the domain of the natural, making it an object of technological intervention. This reconstitution of bodies through the sciences and technologies of the social, Horn argues, continues to have material consequences for women and men throughout the West.Using as his example post-World War I Italy and the government's interest in the size, growth rate, and "vitality"of its national population, David Horn suggests a genealogy for our present understanding of procreation as a site for technological intervention and political contestation. Social Bodies looks at how population and reproductive bodies came to be the objects of new sciences, technologies, and government policies during this period. It examines the linked scientific constructions of Italian society as a body threatened by the "disease" of infertility, and of women and men as social bodies--located neither in nature nor in the private sphere, but in that modern domain of knowledge and intervention carved out by statistics, sociology, social hygiene, and social work.Situated at the intersection of anthropology, cultural studies, and feminist studies of science, the book explores the interrelated factors that produced the practices of reason we call social science and social planning. David Horn draws on many sources to analyze the discourses and practices of "social experts, " the resistance these encountered, and the often unintended effects of the new objectification of bodies and populations. He shows how science, while affirming that maternity was part of woman's "nature, " also worked to remove reproduction from the domain of the natural, making it an object of technological intervention. This reconstitution of bodies through the sciences and technologies of the social, Horn argues, continues to have material consequences for women and men throughout the West.

Synopsis:

"This book is at once a study of the emergence of reproduction and welfare as the subjects of the new social sciences and government social engineering in interwar Italy and, at the same time, a history of the constitution of the 'social' as an object of study and intervention. A significant contribution to feminist and cultural studies."--Sy...

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsCh. ITechnologies of Reproduction3Ch. IISocial Bodies18Ch. IIIThe Power of Numbers46Ch. IVGoverning Reproduction66Ch. VThe Sterile City95Ch. VIBeyond Public and Private123Notes129References Cited159Index183

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400821457
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Subject:
Political Science : General
Author:
Horn, David G.
Author:
David G. Horn
Subject:
Social Science : Demography
Subject:
History, theory and practice
Subject:
Italy
Subject:
General
Subject:
Human Anatomy
Subject:
Italy Politics and government 1914-1945.
Subject:
Human reproductive technology -- Italy -- History -- 20th century.
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Demography
Subject:
Body, human
Subject:
Fertility, human
Subject:
Fascism and culture.
Subject:
Fascism and women.
Subject:
Human reproductive technology
Subject:
History
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
European History
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Italy-General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Political Science : History & Theory - General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
September 2008
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English
Pages:
200

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Social Bodies: Science, Reproduction, and Italian Modernity
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Product details 200 pages Princeton University Press - English 9781400821457 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "This book is at once a study of the emergence of reproduction and welfare as the subjects of the new social sciences and government social engineering in interwar Italy and, at the same time, a history of the constitution of the 'social' as an object of study and intervention. A significant contribution to feminist and cultural studies."--Sy...
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