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Telling a scientific story and governing the population: The Kallikak story and the historical mutations of the eugenic discourse.
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Childhood, Education and Society (BUS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5562-5540
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Childhood, Education and Society (BUS).
2024 (English)In: History of Psychology, ISSN 1093-4510, E-ISSN 1939-0610Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this article, we follow the trails of 20th-century psychologist Henry Herbert Goddard’s influential study of the Kallikak family. Goddard’s study is treated as a scientific story with two interlocking dimensions: One is the actual story of the Kallikak family, with literary elements such as setting, plot, and characters. The other dimension is the broader eugenic discourse, a powerful scientific narrative that calls for action in relation to society and the population. The purpose of the article is twofold. Firstly, to analyze the forming and articulations of this story and to explore some of the consequences for governing the population that it has made possible. Secondly, to explore some aspects of what a Foucauldian analytics of government can contribute with in relation to Goddard’s work and the eugenic discourse from the early 20th century to today.

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American Psychological Association (APA), 2024.
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
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URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-66729DOI: 10.1037/hop0000256PubMedID: 38602795OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-66729DiVA, id: diva2:1851193
Available from: 2024-04-12 Created: 2024-04-12 Last updated: 2024-04-26Bibliographically approved

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Axelsson, ThomQvarsebo, Jonas

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