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William Muraskin

12 The power of individuals and the dependency of nations in global eradication and immunisation campaigns William Muraskin At one time historians emphasised the ‘Great Man in History’ concept. That idea was later pushed aside by the realisation that larger, more important forces were at work. The individual's importance shrank as the role of massively expanded governments, multi

in The politics of vaccination
Open Access (free)
Coreen Anne McGuire

create the “problem” of the disabled body’. 13 Davis’s work highlights what has become an important part of disability history. That is, acknowledgement of the fact that the construction of normalcy and deviance from normalcy (disability) is dependent on the time, place and context in which the judgement is made. Although this book takes a similar theoretical stance to Davis, it differs in its focus on the interwar years in Britain and in its critical emphasis on measurement technologies. While Davis drew attention to the power of statistics, I extend his argument to

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Open Access (free)
Coreen Anne McGuire

obfuscates domain assumptions and leaves cultural values and practices of power unexamined’. 45 Similarly, researchers such as Safiya Noble and Anna Hoffman have recently drawn attention to issues of fairness within algorithmic systems, demonstrating that technologies, like, for example, search engines, can work to architect and perpetuate structural biases. 46 Prejudices, cultures, biases and decisions are thus invisibly embedded in digital products through the categorisation of big data. As well as reflecting inequalities in society, these processes can work to

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

reasonably hypothesized to affect cardiovascular health’. 9 It is this position that the people living with heart disease overwhelmingly expressed in Shim’s interviews. That is, they ‘understood gender relations as relations of power and experienced their manifestations as embodied sources of distress, grief, regret, and anger that they explicitly constructed as significant risks to their cardiovascular health’. 10 Such power relations intersected with race and class to produce chronic, structural oppressions and stresses that extracted a corporeal cost to health. 11

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

of electric therapy. In both cases, there was initial optimism and a sense of harnessing the power of nature to heal, as well as conflict around how to quantify sensorial knowledge. 25 Historian Vanessa Heggie has argued that there have been long historical tensions around bodily knowledge versus laboratory knowledge in the design of artificial respiration. For example, she has shown that by the middle of the twentieth century, physiological ‘facts’ related to technologies of artificial respiration used in mountaineering could not be created in laboratories and

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

associated with. The suspicion attached to deafness in the interwar years was compounded by its invisibility, alongside the fact that there is no known objective test by which hearing power or its absence can be measured. With the blind the statement of the person under examination can be subjected to corroboration by instrumental tests in which he has no say; but the deaf subject must be left to give his answers unchecked, even when the watch or whisper tests, or the use of graded tuning-forks are employed. In fact the only way to detect the malingerer is by the

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

A challenge for innovation in the military context arose from the fact that the patent for the thermionic valve was held by Marconi and lasted until 1918. 35 The first valves used in Post Office telephones were ‘round’ French valves which were incorporated into its earliest telephone instruments. These valves boosted the electrical signal, and thus increased amplification. The potential power of the thermionic valve as an amplifier was emphasised in the Electrical Engineers’ Journal in 1919, in which the editor explained how war activities had accelerated

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
A global history

In this book scholars from across the globe investigate changes in ‘society’ and ‘nation’ over time through the lens of immunisation. Such an analysis unmasks the idea of vaccination as a simple health technology and makes visible the social and political complexities in which vaccination programmes are embedded. The collection of essays gives a comparative overview of immunisation at different times in widely different parts of the world and under different types of political regime. Core themes in the chapters include immunisation as an element of state formation; citizens’ articulation of seeing (or not seeing) their needs incorporated into public health practice; allegations that development aid is inappropriately steering third-world health policies; and an ideological shift that treats vaccines as marketable and profitable commodities rather than as essential tools of public health. Throughout, the authors explore relationships among vaccination, vaccine-making, and the discourses and debates on citizenship and nationhood that have accompanied mass vaccination campaigns. The thoughtful investigations of vaccination in relation to state power, concepts of national identify (and sense of solidarity) and individual citizens’ sense of obligation to self and others are completed by an afterword by eminent historian of vaccination William Muraskin. Reflecting on the well-funded global initiatives which do not correspond to the needs of poor countries, Muraskin asserts that an elite fraternity of self-selected global health leaders has undermined the United Nations system of collective health policy determination by launching global disease eradication and immunisation programmes over the last twenty years.

Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

and bravery of the wounded, these women pushed at the boundaries of their existing social roles, and confounded society’s expectations. Their work can be viewed as a statement about the power of women – and more particularly the power of nurses – to see with clarity and write with precision about subjects that had previously been exclusively within the domain of men. The fact that women could write the most vivid accounts of wounds, despair, and suffering  – that they could, themselves, be endangered and sometimes damaged by war – was a statement about their right

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

, particularly as it was expressed through the actions and attitudes of trained professional nurses. The power and popularity of their writings was such that the detachment and inhumanity of some military hospital nurses has acquired the status of myth. Bagnold’s own contribution to the myth is a particularly powerful one. The image she offers of the military discipline she encountered at the Royal Herbert Hospital is one that stays with the reader long after her laconic and deftly written text has been left behind. She writes of a new sister, who ‘is absolutely without

in Nurse Writers of the Great War