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Tracing Eugenics: German Influences on a Greek Background, c. 1930–45

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Abstract

From the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War, eugenics, in its two complementary yet at times antagonistic versions (positive eugenics vs. negative eugenics), was propagated as a quintessentially scientific field that aspired to both prevent and cure certain types of social pathogenesis: to confirm and validate, in other words, what should be defined as normal/healthy and what as deviating/unhealthy. In this line of argument, the socio-political order referred back to the natural order as a prerequisite for rendering the power relations existent in Western mass democratic societies to a form of ontology. Eugenics is understood here in Michel Foucault’s terms, as a pseudo-scientific discourse that during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, an era characterized by dynamic nationalism, imperialistic rivalries, revolutionary mass movements, and renewed clashes between the European Great Powers, emerged as a contender in the intellectual constellation of theories that pitted themselves against democratic egalitarianism, constructing not merely the reality it studied but also the scientific identity of a whole field of knowledge.

Keywords

Venereal Disease Drug Addict Bestial Effort German Journal Mixed Marriage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© George Kokkinos and Markos Karasarinis 2016

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