Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Eugenics as science of the social: A case from 1930s Istanbul
by Guvenc-Salgirli, Sanem, Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 2009, 252; 3354862
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the relationship between medicine and social control through the lens of eugenics in 1930s Istanbul. Depending on the biographies, autobiographies, and obituaries of the doctors, the analysis starts with an inquiry into the social and professional networks of the physicians, and continues with their views on society. It contextualizes them by investigating the typhus epidemic of 1937 in Istanbul, where eugenics had manifested itself through the urban planning and public health policies. Finally, it places eugenics in Turkey into the worldwide practices. The main question that this dissertation pursues is how eugenics could emerge in a context where the state did not take an active interest in propagating and instituting eugenics in one of its major cities, Istanbul. Such case runs counter to the traditional practices of eugenics as had seen in other countries, where those policies had been mainly practiced within the confines of the state machine. To explain the uniqueness and anomaly of the Turkish case, this dissertation argues that eugenics needs to be viewed as the main ideology and project of the upper middle classes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lee, Richard E.
Commitee: Keyder, Caglar, Tomich, Dale
School: State University of New York at Binghamton
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Science history, Sociology
Keywords: Eugenics, Istanbul, Nineteen 30s, Public health, Turkey, Turkish doctors
Publication Number: 3354862
ISBN: 978-1-109-12555-9
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