The measure of the woman : eugenics and domestic science in the 1924 sociological survey of white women in North Queensland

Colclough, Gillian (2008) The measure of the woman : eugenics and domestic science in the 1924 sociological survey of white women in North Queensland. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This thesis considers experiences of white women in Queensland’s north in the early years of “white”Australia, in this case from Federation until the late 1920s. Because of government and health authority interest in determining issues that might influence the health and well-being of white northern women, and hence their families and a future white labour force, in 1924 the Institute of Tropical Medicine conducted a comprehensive Sociological Survey of White Women in selected northern towns. Designed to address and resolve concerns of government and medical authorities with anxieties about sanitation, hygiene and eugenic wellbeing, the Survey used domestic science criteria to measure the health knowledge of its subjects: in so doing, it gathered detailed information about their lives. Guided by the Survey assessment categories, together with local and overseas literature on racial ideas, the thesis examines salient social and scientific concerns about white women in Queensland’s tropical north and in white-dominated societies elsewhere and considers them against the oral reminiscences of women who recalled their lives in the North for the North Queensland Oral History Project. Ultimately, the combination of sources enables an examination of the application of prevailing racial ideas and the development of a broad social history of 1920s North Queensland women.

Item ID: 5266
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: white women, European women, North Queensland, social history, sociological surveys, Rafael Cilento, Annie Gorman, eugenics, racial attitudes, racial theories, domestic science, women’s role, marriage, sexuality, sex education, child welfare, health
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2010 05:01
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality @ 40%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 30%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940113 Gender and Sexualities @ 70%
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