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Rationalizing Korea"The Rise of the Modern State, 1894-1945"$
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Kyung Moon Hwang

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288317

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288317.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Public Health and Biopolitics

Public Health and Biopolitics

Disciplining Through Disease Control

(p.220) Eight Public Health and Biopolitics
Rationalizing Korea

Kyung Moon Hwang

University of California Press

This chapter examines public health and disease control through the state’s efforts at combatting cholera and venereal disease. It considers the impact of Joseon practices and conventions, the lessons of hygiene management from the Japanese Meiji-period experience, and the implanting of biomedical approaches beginning in the late nineteenth century, which established an association between scientific advancement and the public health regime. Ironically, such a discursive standard cast doubt on the circular narrative of managerial legitimation—that only the state could enact effective measures against disease, which, in turn, justified its rule. Despite the state’s many successes in controlling epidemics, such resistance demonstrated the limitations of the state’s disciplinary power and the durable strength of the discursive construct that indexed modern civilization to the state’s capacities in public health and hygiene.

Keywords:   public health, hygiene, disease control, biopolitics, disciplinary power, cholera, venereal disease, licensed prostitution, hygiene and civilization, biological medicine

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