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Problems of progress: modernity and writing the social history of medicine

Waddington, Keir 2020. Problems of progress: modernity and writing the social history of medicine. Social History of Medicine
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Abstract

Reflecting on the discipline over the last sixty years, this historiographical essay considers how social historians of medicine might deal with the problem that ‘modernity’ and its associated phenomena -- progress, tradition, and backwardness -- have become normalized. It argues that such terms require conscious interrogation and should be situated within a critique of sources, actors’ categories, and competing historical interpretations. The essay suggests three routes out of the problem of modernity. First, by shifting the focus to re-interrogate those areas commonly framed as backward; second, by using the metaphor of ‘blended modernities’ to examine commonalities across time and space, and finally by employing the everyday as an analytical category to approach those ambiguities and ambivalences that helped structure the nineteenth- and twentieth-century social history of medicine.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D880 Developing Countries
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
ISSN: 0951-631X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 18 August 2020
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2020 14:41
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/134278

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