Measuring difference, numbering normal provides a detailed study of the technological construction of disability by examining how the audiometer and spirometer were used to create numerical proxies for invisible and inarticulable experiences. Measurements, and their manipulation, have been underestimated as crucial historical forces motivating and guiding the way we think about disability. Using measurement technology as a lens, this book draws together several existing discussions on disability, healthcare, medical practice, embodiment and emerging medical and scientific technologies at the turn of the twentieth century. As such, this work connects several important and usually separate academic subject areas and historical specialisms. The standards embedded in instrumentation created strict but ultimately arbitrary thresholds of normalcy and abnormalcy. Considering these standards from a long historical perspective reveals how these dividing lines shifted when pushed. The central thesis of this book is that health measurements are given artificial authority if they are particularly amenable to calculability and easy measurement. These measurement processes were perpetuated and perfected in the interwar years in Britain as the previously invisible limits of the body were made visible and measurable. Determination to consider body processes as quantifiable was driven by the need to compensate for disability occasioned by warfare or industry. This focus thus draws attention to the biopower associated with systems, which has emerged as a central area of concern for modern healthcare in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
dangerous drug use. We have almost no understanding of how usage of such devices impacts on individual interoception, embodiment, anxiety or cognition of sensation. Related concerns are growing about how the data these devices generate will be stored and used in the future, especially by the state. The kind of data embedded in spirometric standards and in the artificial ear was recoverable and available in archives, but this is unlikely to be the case in the context of private commercial companies used in nationalised contexts. Indeed, an influential think tank has
. , ‘ Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity, Politics, and Violence against Women of Color ’, Stanford Law Review , 43 : 6 ( 1991 ), 1241 – 1299 , and for more of my analysis using this framework see Chapter 5 .
58 Quoted in Shakespeare , T. , ‘ Nasty, Brutish, and Short? On the Predicament of Disability and Embodiment ’, in J. E. Bickenback , F. Felder and B. Schmitz (eds), Disability and the Good Human Life ( Cambridge : Cambridge University Press , 2014 ), pp. 93 – 112 , p. 95.
59 Daniels , N. , ‘ Normal Functioning and the
would have further complicated adding extra apparatus.
96 W. G. Luxton, Bristol Sectional Engineer, to the District Manager, 5 August 1936. BTA, POST 33/1491C.
97 Arapostathis and Gooday, Patently Contestable , pp. 106–110.
98 Ibid., p. 107.
99 Ibid., p. 110.
100 Letter from W. G. Luxton, Sectional Engineer, to the Superintending Engineer, 28 September 1936. BTA, POST 33/1491C.
101 Fourcade , M. , ‘ The Problem of Embodiment in the Sociology of Knowledge: Afterword to the Special Issue on Knowledge in Practice ’, Qualitative Sociology , 33 : 4
accepted out of necessity. The memsahibs of India thus become an inert embodiment of what the Army
and East India Company were fighting for throughout the remainder of the rebellion: the idealised mothers, dutiful wives and ladies of
colonial India, and of the wider Empire. As much as these diaries are
a testament to the efforts of lady amateurs, they remain also a consolidation of the position of the gentleman professional.
1 Throughout the chapter, the events of 1857 are largely referred to as the Indian
Mutiny, not for any political or ideological reason, but
creativity and Parkinson's Disease have generated a counterculture represented in the narratives articulated by patients, according to which ontological stasis is replaced with emergence, changing the relationship between embodiment and becoming. As a result, sufferers have dispersed the materiality of disability by creating the meaning of shifting embodiments for themselves and others: for example by engaging, expressing and disseminating the contradictions of dread and subliminal exquisiteness through artistic work, thereby unfolding the consequences of the misfolding
embedded in the hospital services
of nineteenth-century Britain, the engagement with patient hygiene
meant that in the embodiment of the single, female nurse, ‘women’s
purity and impurity were expressed at once morally and physically’.34
Nurses were not only agents of reform, but also potentially suspect.
In order to maintain a level of propriety they were advised to be quiet
about the more unpleasant aspects of their work.35 For, as Leonore
Davidoff argued, those who engaged in ‘dirty work’ not only became
defiled by the association with dirt, but also could themselves
Disease, conflict and nursing in the British Empire, 1880–1914
unmarried (as were all nurses of her time) and dedicated to her profession, and early photographs are constructed depictions delineating her embodiment of idealised nursing qualities, including bravery,
selfless commitment and education, qualities that were subsequently
among those of the quintessential Australian combatant immortalised in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial. Her
Imperial sisters in Hong Kong
perpetual association with the development of Antipodean nursing
is understandable. She was trained in Australia, dedicated her
crew were also included in the regulatory framework described in the second part of this chapter.
R. Hayward, ‘Busman's stomach and the embodiment of modernity’, Contemporary British History , 31:1 (2017), 1–23.
C. Sirrs, ‘Accidents and apathy: the construction of the “Robens philosophy” of
Health as moral economy in the long nineteenth century
heatstroke are invisible in histories of medicine and public health), ‘I'm tired’, ‘I'm sad’, or ‘I'm afraid.’ A phenomenologist's perspective may help, but the issue ultimately is an acceptance of embodiment: ‘experience’ should open a door to explaining, not merely to explaining away.
C. E. Rosenberg, ‘The tyranny of diagnosis: specific entities and individual experience’, The Millbank Quarterly , 80 (2002), 237