The Body of Knowledge

Geoffrey Campbell Cocks

in The State of Health

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695676
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738616 | DOI:
The Body of Knowledge

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Broad and deep historical trends concerning body, self, mind, and medicine intersected in Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was within this pervasive and powerful nexus that matters of illness and health would turn systematically lethal after 1933. State organization of medical service and supervision was particularly well advanced in German lands in the modern period. At the same time, the body was a location of knowledge not simply imposed from above but distributed through one's self and one's family, friends, and community. Health and illness became a space of concern, hope, negotiation, conflict, arrangement, and repair between the self and increasingly organized options and constraints. The First World War augmented a culture of nervousness and physical victimization and disability to which medicine, psychiatry, and both political left and political right responded problematically after 1918.

Keywords: modern Germany; medicalization; state health administration; First World War; illness; disability; nervousness; victimization; psychiatry

Chapter.  7048 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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