Skip to main content

Past Futures: On the Conceptual History of Eugenics—a Social Technology of the Past

Buy Article:

$55.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Based on an introduction to the conceptual history of Reinhart Koselleck, this paper traces the historical development of ‘eugenics' as a concept. This concept has been immensely influential in shaping the debate on the regulation of human genetic and reproductive technologies. At the beginning of the 20th century eugenics was cast as a social technology associated with strong, almost utopian technological expectations for the future. By the end of the century it was by contrast seen as a dangerous threat, a potential repetition of the past strongly connected to notions of compulsion, ethnic cleansing and crime. In between these two points lies a historical development, traced here through the development of the concept of eugenics as rendered in Scandinavian encyclopaedias throughout the 20th century. In this process a larger and more complex semantic framework emerges illustrating the shifting relationship between experience and expectations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09537320600777085

Affiliations: Department of Health Services Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: 2006-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more