Eugenics, sexual pedagogy and social change: Constructing the responsible subject of governmentality in the spanish second republic
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):247-254 (2008)
This study focuses on eugenics in Spain, and more specifically on the ‘official’ eugenics whose platform was the Primeras Jornadas Eugénicas Españolas . The aim of this paper is to relate eugenics to ‘governmentality’ rather than to State politics alone and to ‘Latin eugenics’ rather than to ‘mainline eugenics’. On the one hand, the FSED were largely centred on the development of a new sexual code which would set Catholic sexual morality aside. For this reason, sexual pedagogy was one of the most relevant topics during the FSED, personal responsibility becoming the first step to social change. The concern about making people play an active role in their own self-regulation is typical of governmentality. The latter refers to societies where power is decentered and where the objective is to structure the field of action of others . On the other hand, the FSED emphasised preventive eugenics such as welfare programmes and health campaigns rather than negative eugenics such as the sterilisation of the unfit. The situation in Spain was mirrored in countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, which allows us to think about them in terms of ‘Latin eugenics’ rather than ‘mainline eugenics’ from countries such as Great Britain, Germany and the USA
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