Eugenics in Australia and New Zealand: Laboratories of Racial Science

Stephen Garton

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373141
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Eugenics in Australia and New Zealand: Laboratories of Racial Science

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Australians and New Zealanders were active participants in international dialogues and movements seeking to promote the propagation of the fit and prevent the multiplication of the inferior. This article deals with the reasons for failure of eugenics to have the influence its proponents hoped and its failure in achieving its aims. It also discusses eugenic ideas and policies as scientific, useful, and essential to the repertoire of policies that governments and reformers should pursue to promote social progress. It presents reasons for little success of eugenicists in Australia and New Zealand in enforcing even segregation. It discusses the conventional areas of eugenic concern namely, segregation, sterilization, marriage advice, maternal and infant welfare. It examines particular policies in detail, and more importantly shifts the focus from the discourses contesting to shape policy to the outcomes of those contests.

Keywords: Australians; eugenics; social progress; segregation; policy

Article.  7087 words. 

Subjects: History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945)

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