British Prestige and Fears of Colonial Degeneration

Satoshi Mizutani

in The Meaning of White

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697700
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732102 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

British Prestige and Fears of Colonial Degeneration

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the ‘imperial politics of whiteness’ in relation to both the politico-economic characteristics of British rule and the life-worlds of white bourgeois families. These two were mutually inseparable because the quotidian lives of Britons—how, where, and with whom they lived, as well as how and where they reared their children—were of central importance to the definition and social reproduction of British racial prestige, upon which the legitimacy of the Raj ultimately depended. Among the most important sources for the discussions here are the Reports of the Select Committee on Colonization and Settlement (1858–59), which contain official debates on these questions. A range of journal and newspaper articles, as well as medical books and manuals, are also examined.

Keywords: colonial settlement; race; class; whiteness; degeneration; miscegenation; bourgeois families; climate; tropical medicine

Chapter.  14777 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.