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This monograph, a coherent and consistent historical narrative about Romania’s modernization, focuses on one section of the country’s elites of the late nineteenth century, namely the health professionals, and on the imagery they constructed as they interacted with the peasant and his world. Doctors ventured out of cities and became a familiar sight on dusty country roads in of Moldavia and Wallachia. Beyond a charitable impulse they did so thru patriotism as the rural world became ever more prominent within the national ideology. Furthermore, new health legislation required the district general practitioner (medicul de plasă) to visit the villages in his catchment area twice a month. Based on solid original research, the book describes rural conditions of the time and the efforts aiming to improve peasants’ way of life with abundant quotes from doctors’ public health reports and memoirs. The book sheds light on a variety of microscale realities of social life in the medical discourse on the peasant and the rural world in the mirror of medical discourse. Themes include general hygiene, clothing, dwellings, nutrition, drinking habits and healing practices of the peasantry, in the eye of medical specialists. Related official measures, laws, regulations, norms about public health are also discussed in the frame of wider modernizing processes.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. PART ONE: Romania Through the Eyes of Doctors
  1. "Minister, I submit this report…”
  2. pp. 11-33
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  1. Doctors Remember
  2. pp. 34-50
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  1. PART TWO: Medical Discourse on the Peasant and the Village
  1. “Thick layers of filth cover their skin”: On the Hygiene of Bodies and Clothes
  2. pp. 51-65
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  1. “The majority live in worse conditions than the Zulus”: Domestic Space and Health
  2. pp. 66-89
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  1. “The peasant’s only food is mămăliga”: Food and Health
  2. pp. 90-122
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  1. “Is the Romanian an alcoholic?”: Alcohol and Health
  2. pp. 123-145
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  1. “Pellagra, the tragedy of our peasant”: An Illness is Born
  2. pp. 146-172
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  1. The “degeneration of the race and the decline of the nation”: Demography and Its Anxieties
  2. pp. 173-226
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  1. PART THREE: Medical Culture vs. Peasant Culture
  1. The Power of Medical Culture: New Laws for People Locked in the Past
  2. pp. 227-243
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  1. Two Mid-Nineteenth-Century Case Studies: Marin Vărzaru and Stoian Buruiană
  2. pp. 244-268
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  1. Conclusions
  2. pp. 269-276
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 277-290
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  1. Index of Names
  2. pp. 291-296
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  1. Back Cover
  2. p. 297
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Additional Information

ISBN
9789633862681
Related ISBN
9789633862674
MARC Record
OCLC
1042082660
Pages
308
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-24
Language
English
Open Access
No
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