Eugenics = “well-born”. Coined by Francis Galton 1860s Genetic determinism. Concern about which heritable traits are spreading thru the human population. Cause of social ills is bad heredity. Policies to “rationally” improve biological quality by controlling reproduction.
With savages, the weak in body & mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick…. Thus the weak members of societies propagate their kind….
No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how want of care leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
COSTS of hospitals, asylums, prisons, feebleminded colonies, poverty, unproductive citizens (State fair exhibits to promote eugenics awareness)
Carrie Buck and her mother
“There can be no doubt that so far as procedure is concerned the rights of the patient are most carefully considered. We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the state for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.”
SAMPLE People hear with their eyes\ears\nose\mouth
1. Pinochle is played with
2. Habeus corpus is a term used in
3. Bud Fisher is a famous
4. Velvet Joe appears in ads for
tooth powder\soap\dry goods\tobacco
5. The number of a Kaffir’s legs is . . . 2\4\6\8
Killing programs (“euthanasia”)
Eugenics Image Archive, hosted by the HGP Cold Spring
Harbor Laboratory, formerly Eugenics Record Office: http://eugenicsarchive.org
Disability Studies analysis of eugenics
History of people with disabilities, esp institutionalized.
Eugenics was based on medical model of disability:
individual is genetically flawed.
We will argue for the social model of disability:
scientific knowledge claims, ableist attitudes, and racist/sexist ideologies label people “unfit.”
Overlap between disability and other human differences.
Legacy today in pre-natal genetic testing.
Subjectivity of “well-born” and “improvement”
Medical fix, eliminate people