By D. Armstrong
Clinical texts supply a robust technique of getting access to modern perceptions of sickness and during them assumptions concerning the nature of the physique and identification. by means of mapping those perceptions, from their nineteenth-century specialise in sickness situated in a organic physique via to their 'discovery' of the psycho-social sufferer of the overdue 20th century, a heritage of identification, either actual and mental, is printed.
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Additional resources for A New History of Identity: A Sociology of Medical Knowledge
From a strategy of eugenics to a system of corporal training, the body of everyman and everywoman could aspire to perfection. Self-reliant, self-disciplined intelligent individual to replace the dragooned type of person who may be well disciplined but is mainly guided by an adolescent mind trained to conditioned reﬂexes. (Cove Smith 1940: 161) The transformation of those passive nineteenth-century bodies was remarkable. Frankenstein’s monster was learning to move. The Making the Body Move 45 stretching and ﬂexing of limbs represented an escape from the strict conﬁnes of the sanitized body of the previous century.
The contours of the body deﬁned an autonomous object located within, yet separated from, a natural landscape. This positioning implied that danger was located along the interface between body and nature, a threat constantly reafﬁrmed by a sanitary science that guarded and maintained the body/nature divide. In the early twentieth century, however, the boundary of the body was realigned, and a new space of danger was revealed to the watchful eye of medicine. Animation of the body meant that its spatial limits needed to be redrawn.
The system of exclusion that spread through schools around the end of the nineteenth century resembled the old system of quarantine in which separation had maintained order and purity. Whereas quarantine acted to keep places separate, school exclusion kept children’s bodies separate from potentially dangerous consociations. Sanitary science resonated in the new system of exclusion in that the main threat still came from dirt.
A New History of Identity: A Sociology of Medical Knowledge by D. Armstrong