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Gender, Health, and History in Modern East Asia$
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Angela Ki Che Leung and Izumi Nakayama

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390908

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390908.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Gender, Health, and History in Modern East Asia
Author(s):

Francesca Bray

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888390908.003.0001

This volume breaks new ground in the history of East Asian biopolitics, offering the first broad-based exploration of gender and health in the region during the long twentieth century. The core theme is the complex meshing of biology, body, and citizen that underpins projects of biological nation building and molds the forms of modern subjectivity. The nine case studies presented here, spanning Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong from the 1870s to the present, demonstrate just how tightly concerns with gender and health have been woven into the enterprise of modernization and nation building throughout the period. Colonial powers and medical associations, government bureaucrats, military personnel, and pharmaceutical companies as well as scientists, educators, and medical practitioners contributed to the legitimation and popularization of evolving scientific discourses and interpretations of the gendered body, sex, and reproductive health. As novel visions of the body and its possibilities took shape, new expressions of individuality, sociality, transgression or resistance, new desires, and fears emerged. Across the region and over the decades, norms and ideals, techniques, terminology, and forms of scientific or cultural authority circulated and converged, faded and resurfaced. In mapping such flows, influences, and reactions, the volume highlights the prominent role that the biopolitics of health and gender has played in knitting and shaping the East Asian region as we know it today....

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