History , 46:3 (2013), 1–16 (p. 10).
Kushner, Self-Destruction in the Promised Land , 11; J. Watt (ed.), From Sin to Insanity: Suicide in Early Modern Europe (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004).
G. Minois, History of Suicide: Voluntary Death in WesternCulture (Baltimore, MD: Johns
animations included Peter Pan's magical flight over London to Neverland. In contrast, Understanding Stresses and Strains included no fantastical scenarios or solutions, instead remaining firmly grounded in the contemporary reality of a Western metropolis. It posed the serious question of how to maintain ‘well-balanced health’ in a perpetually stress-inducing environment.
One regular set of audience members who were shown this film were relaxation class students. With the aid of the film, relaxation teachers would explain how chronic states of tension
Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People and the hybrid pathways of Chinese
normalising Western-style art for the Chinese public.
Along the same lines, Weipin Tsai contends that advertising in the newspaper Shenbao helped to produce the idealised image of the housewife as at once ‘consumer, domestic, and patriot’ in the new vision of liberated femininity that emerged after the 1915 New Culture Movement.
Even in case studies in which the advertising medium consists primarily of text, emphasis is placed on the construction of an ideological
Balance, malleability and anthropology: historical contexts
’. Naturally enough, ‘the institutions and values of Europe were the apotheosis’.
Thus culture operates as a scorecard for various societies, enabling anthropologists to position them on the road towards Western Europe – the final destination and the epitome of ‘culture’ in this sense. At the dawn of the twentieth century, however, this idea of culture began to be displaced by another concept under the same term. As Descola writes: ‘The strictly anthropological concept of culture did not appear until later. It was only at
Melissa Dickson, Emilie Taylor-Brown and Sally Shuttleworth
the slowly increasing suicide rates in Finland to modern urban lifestyles, in an effort to accentuate the cultural differences between so-called ‘modernised’ Western nations, and other cultures. Myllykangas interrogates such claims in the context of Finnish society, which, he notes, was at a very different stage of industrial transition than many of its Western European counterparts. In this specific social and political context, counterarguments to the widespread conception of suicide in Europe were put forward by figures such as the physician and anthropologist F
Daktar Binodbihari Ray Kabiraj and the metaphorics of the
nineteenth-century Ayurvedic body
Projit Bihari Mukharji
Nowhere is this refusal of coevalness more conspicuous today than in overviews of the history of medicine. A 2008 work entitled Medicine and Modernism , for instance, has this to say about the conundrum of the modern: ‘“Modernity” and “modernization” are terms that historians use to refer to the interrelated series of economic, social, and political transformations that occurred in western societies during the period of the long nineteenth century. Urbanization, industrialization, and the spread of market capitalism were
were disproportionately subject to the experimentation of laboratory-based medicine that often caused more immediate harm than good to their families.
The Fowlers’ phrenology ultimately sustained the essentialist taxonomies from which it promised to liberate its adherents. Their programme of individualistic self-culture was also a means of self-regulation within a normative social code.
Phrenology has remained an undercurrent in Western medicine and culture, resurfacing recently in relation to
Extending the methodological and conceptual scope of the discussion about regulation and balance, in Chapter 6 Ayesha Nathoo's exploration of ‘relaxed living’ in post-war Britain explores the multi-faceted nature of therapies for bodily balance and the material culture through which they were taken up and incorporated into individual lives. Therapeutic relaxation techniques proliferated in the twentieth century, designed to counteract the myriad maladies popularly associated with the pace and pressures of modern Western living. Practitioners advocated forms of
Dietary advice and agency in North America and Britain
Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology , 2nd edition (Chichester: Wiley, 2011), pp. 284–5. John Coveney has also discussed new dieting concerns as a modern iteration of Christian asceticism in Western societies, in J. Coveney, Food, Morals, and Meaning: The Pleasure and Anxiety of Eating (London: Routledge, 2000), p. 10. Sander Gilman argues that obesity generated a moral panic in the twentieth century and that dieting adopted both ‘the lexicon and characteristics of a religious movement’, in S. Gilman, Obesity: The Biography (Oxford: Oxford
The hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William
course, been drawn by humans for centuries: Egyptian physicians, for instance, believed that disease was caused by the absorption of putrefying faeces,
and as asserted by Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, ‘perhaps no other part of the body has played a longer or larger part in disease origin than the intestines and its most visible, odorous by-product, feces’.
Although human excrement had been valued for its positive qualities in certain periods, Westernculture broadly