The purpose of this study is to examine the historiography of the eugenics movement as it occurred globally, providing a comparative survey of programs, legislation and ideologies in multiple nation settings. In order to provide a global comparative study of international eugenic programs and ideologies, several disciplines will be followed, focusing on four major terms used to delineate eugenics, “population, quality, territory, and nation.”
Although eugenics has been seriously examined by historians since the 1960’s, international comparisons are a recent addition to the field of research, emerging near the end of the twentieth century. Even as these comparative studies become more popular, the majority of this research focuses on eugenics in Britain, Germany, and the United States. For these reasons, this study will attempt to highlight the movement outside of the Western world only drawing on their historiography as precedents throughout the global community.
In 1963, Mark H. Haller published Eugenics: Hereditarian Attitudes in American Thought. As the first major history of American eugenics, Haller encapsulated the movement and only hinted at the biological doctrines of the Nazi’s and Soviet Union. Haller...
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Stepan, Nancy. The Hour of Eugenics: Race, Gender, and Nation in Latin America. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), 4.
Broberg, Gunnar, and Nils Roll-Hansen. Eugenics and the Welfare State: Sterilization Policy in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1996), 2.
Dikötter, Frank. Imperfect Conceptions: Medical Knowledge, Birth Defects, and Eugenics in China. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), 2.
Cleminson, Richard. Anarchism, Science, and Sex: Eugenics in Eastern Spain, 1900-1937. (Oxford: New York: P. Lang, 2000), 11.
Chung, Yuehtsen Juliette. Struggle for National Survival: Eugenics in Sino-Japanese Contexts, 1896-1945. (New York: Routledge, 2002), 145.
Bucur, Maria. Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania. (Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002), 5.
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