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Imperfect Conceptions
Author: Frank Dikotter

ISBN: 9780231113700
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 17 October 1998
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 14.6 x 1.9
Description:


In 1995 the People's Republic of China passed a controversial Eugenics Law, which, after a torrent of international criticism, was euphemistically renamed the Maternal and Infant Health Law. Aimed at "the implementation of premarital medical checkups" to ensure that neither partner has any hereditary, venereal, reproductive, or mental disorders, the ordinance implies that those deemed "unsuitable for reproduction" should undergo sterilization or abortion or remain celibate in order to prevent "inferior births." Using this recent statute as a springboard, Frank DikAtter explores the contexts and history of eugenics in both Communist China and Taiwan. DikAtter shows how beginning in Late Imperial China, Western eugenics was imported and combined with existing fears of cultural, racial, or biological degeneration in Chinese society, leading to government regulation of sexual reproduction.

"Imperfect Conceptions" is a revealing look at the cultural history of medical explanations of birth defects that demonstrates how Chinese assumptions about the relationship of the individual to society form the very core of their a...

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