- The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics
- Introduction: Eugenics and the Modern World
- The Darwinian Context: Evolution and Inheritance
- Anthropology, Colonialism, and Eugenics
- Race, Science, and Eugenics in the Twentieth Century
- Eugenics and the Science of Genetics
- Fertility Control: Eugenics, Neo-Malthusianism, and Feminism
- Disability, Psychiatry, and Eugenics
- Eugenics and the State: Policy-Making in Comparative Perspective
- Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Eugenics
- Gender and Sexuality: A Global Tour and Compass
- Eugenics and genocide
- Eugenics in Britain: The View from the Metropole
- South Asia's Eugenic Past
- Eugenics in Australia and New Zealand: Laboratories of Racial Science
- Eugenics in China and Hong Kong: Nationalism and Colonialism, 1890s–1940s
- South Africa: Paradoxes in the Place of Race
- Eugenics in Colonial Kenya
- Eugenics in Postcolonial Southeast Asia
- German Eugenics and the Wider World: Beyond the Racial State
- Eugenics in France and the Colonies
- Eugenics in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies
- The Scandinavian States: Reformed Eugenics Applied
- The First-Wave Eugenic Revolution in Southern Europe: Science <i>sans frontières</i>
- Eugenics in Eastern Europe, 1870s–1945
- Eugenics in Russia and the Soviet Union
- Eugenics in Japan: Sanguinous Repair
- Eugenics in Interwar Iran
- Eugenics and the Jews
- Eugenics Policy and Practice in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico
- The Path of Eugenics in Brazil: Dilemmas of Miscegenation
- Eugenics in the United States
- Eugenics in Canada: A Checkered History, 1850s–1990s
- Epilogue: where did eugenics go?
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses the impact of eugenics in Britain. It discusses eugenics as a biological way of thinking about social, economic, political, and cultural change. It gives scientific credibility to prejudices, anxieties, and fears that are prevalent primarily among the middle and upper classes. It delineates the tensions between “classic” and “reform”, although this is only one modality along which to align the complex factors that polarized the society—some of them ideological, some of them about tactics, and some based on personalities. It gives a detailed description of the differentiation of societies' activities into study and practice. The social problem group; research into contraceptive methods; family allowances; race mixture; and immigration are discussed. The practices are divided into negative and positive. Finally, this article concludes that eugenicists see feeblemindedness as hereditary, emblematic of degeneracy, and contributes to numerous social problems, such as poverty and unemployment.
Lucy Bland teaches women's studies and history at London Metropolitan University. She has published Banishing the Beast (1995) and (with Laura Doan) Sexology in Culture and Sexology Uncensored (1998). She has written widely on sexuality, feminism, and gender in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Britain and is on the editorial collective of Feminist Review. Her forthcoming book is Sexual Transgression in the Age of the Flapper: Treacherous Women on Trial.
Lesley A. Hall is Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library and Honorary Lecturer in History of Medicine at University College London. She has published extensively on questions of sex, gender, and reproduction in the United Kingdom during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880 (2000) and Outspoken Women: Women Writing about Sex, 1870–1969 (2005).
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.