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Journal of Social History

Christoph Laucht
While anti-nuclear weapons activism in Britain and other nations has received considerable historiographical attention, its transnational professional dimensions have so far been neglected. This article thus introduces the concept of "transnational professional activism" to describe the ways in which scientific and medical professionals, driven by professional ethos and etiquette, and based on their self-fashioned expert identities, organized themselves into national interest groups situated within wider transnational networks in order to act against the perceived threat that nuclear war posed to human society...
November 2018: Journal of Social History
Asa Janson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2013: Journal of Social History
Catherine Cox, Hilary Marland, Sarah York
Drawing on asylum reception orders, casebooks and annual reports, as well as County Council notebooks recording the settlement of Irish patients, this article examines a deeply traumatic and enduring aspect of the Irish migration experience, the confinement of large numbers of Irish migrants in the Lancashire asylum system between the 1850s and the 1880s. This period saw a massive influx of impoverished Irish into the county, particularly in the post-Famine years. Asylum superintendents commented on the impact of Irish patients in terms of resulting management problems in what became, soon after their establishment, overcrowded and overstretched asylums...
2012: Journal of Social History
Kira L S Newman
The outbreak of bubonic plague that struck London and Westminster in 1636 provoked the usual frenzied response to epidemics, including popular flight and government-mandated quarantine. The government asserted that plague control measures were acts of public health for the benefit of all. However, contrary to this government narrative of disease prevention there was a popular account that portrayed quarantine and isolation as personal punishment rather than prudent policy. In examining the 1636 outbreak on the parish as well as the individual level, reasons for this inconsistency between official and unofficial perspectives emerge...
2012: Journal of Social History
Chanelle N Rose
This article examines how Miami's significant presence of Anglo Caribbean blacks and Spanish-speaking tourists critically influenced the evolution of race relations before and after the watershed 1959 Cuban Revolution. The convergence of people from the American South and North, the Caribbean, and Latin America created a border culture in a city where the influx of Bahamian blacks and Spanish-speakers, especially tourists, had begun to alter the racial landscape. To be sure, Miami had many parallels with other parts of the South in regard to how blackness was understood and enforced by whites during the first half of the twentieth century...
2012: Journal of Social History
Kenneth Aslakson
The intimate relationships between white men and women of color in antebellum New Orleans, commonly known by the term plaçage, are a large part of the romanticized lore of the city and its history. This article exposes the common understanding of plaçage as myth. First, it reveals the source of the myth in a collection of accounts by travelers to the city in the decades leading up to the Civil War. Next, it uses a database of information on hundreds of white male-colored female relationships during the period to provide a more accurate account of the people in and nature of these relationships...
2012: Journal of Social History
Sascha Auerbach
During the late Victorian period, the role of the state increased dramatically in England's working-class urban communities. New laws on labor, health, and education, enforced by a growing bureaucracy of elected and appointed officials, extended the reach of public authority into daily life on an unprecedented scale. Everyday negotiations between these officials and working-class men and women, I argue, were key moments for determining the practical impact of new social welfare policies. This was particularly true in the contestation over children's compulsory school attendance, as I demonstrate through a close examination of the daily encounters between parents and education officials...
2012: Journal of Social History
Alice Rio
Voluntary entry into unfreedom in late antiquity and the early middle ages has tended to be interpreted as anything but voluntary: instead, self-sales and autodeditions have been seen mostly in terms of coercion, whether by force or by necessity, and associated with particular moments of social crisis. This article argues that the sensitive nature of the topic resulted in an exceptionally misleading representation of self-sales in the legal and literary sources, albeit in divergent ways. Roman and Byzantine law treated self-sale as illegal, while at the same time leaving room for manoeuvre in practice, and took a very judgmental view of self-sellers...
2012: Journal of Social History
Clare Anderson
This article explores the lives of two Andamanese women, both of whom the British called “Tospy.” The first part of the article takes an indigenous and gendered perspective on early British colonization of the Andamans in the 1860s, and through the experiences of a woman called Topsy stresses the sexual violence that underpinned colonial settlement as well as the British reliance on women as cultural interlocutors. Second, the article discusses colonial naming practices, and the employment of Andamanese women and men as nursemaids and household servants during the 1890s–1910s...
2011: Journal of Social History
Anoma Pieris
The rhetoric surrounding the transportation of prisoners to the Straits Settlements and the reformative capacity of the penal labor regime assumed a uniform subject, an impoverished criminal, who could be disciplined and accordingly civilized through labor. Stamford Raffles, as lieutenant governor of Benkulen, believed that upon realizing the advantages of the new colony, criminals would willingly become settlers. These two colonial prerogatives of labor and population categorized transportees into laboring classes where their exploitation supposedly brought mutual benefit...
2011: Journal of Social History
Richard B Allen
In 1790, Marie Rozette, a freedwoman of Indian origin on Mauritius, executed a series of notarial acts which revealed that she possessed a small fortune in cash assets as well as slaves and substantial landed property in one of the island’s rural districts. The life of this former slave between 1776, when she first appears in the archival record, and her death in 1804 provides a vantage point from which to gain a subaltern perspective on aspects of Mascarene social and economic history, as well as developments in the wider Indian Ocean world during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries...
2011: Journal of Social History
Gregory Wood
As cigarette smoking expanded dramatically during the early twentieth century, it brought more and more workers into conflict with the policies and demands of the manufacturers who employed them. As this paper shows, addiction to nicotine ignited daily struggles over workers’ shopfloor rights and the ability of employers to set rules, establish discipline, and monitor behavior. A specific set of records from the archives of the Hammermill Paper Company, a paper manufacturer once based in Erie, Pennsylvania, provide a unique opportunity to explore the impact of cigarette consumption on labor relations during the era of mass production, as two nosy factory spies probed and documented worker actions and attitudes in the summer of 1915...
2011: Journal of Social History
Christopher Oldstone-Moore
The purpose of this article is to deepen our understanding of twentieth-century masculinity by considering the social function of facial hair. The management of facial hair has always been a medium of gendered body language, and as such has elicited a nearly continuous private and public conversation about manliness. Careful attention to this conversation, and to trends in facial hairstyles, illuminates a distinct and consistent pattern of thought about masculinity in early twentieth-century America. The preeminent form of facial hair - mustaches - was used to distinguish between two elemental masculine types: sociable and autonomous...
2011: Journal of Social History
Itai Vardi
The profuse historiography on the automobile in America near completely overlooks the ubiquitous cultural practice of entertaining live audiences by deliberately crashing cars. This paper seeks to rectify some of this ongoing neglect by providing a socio-historical exploration into the origins of this unique genre. The planned automobile wreck’s birth is traced to the early 1920s and is situated contextually within an established tradition of disaster and destruction reenactments, key historical developments in the system of automobility, and the phenomenon of traffic accidents...
2011: Journal of Social History
Alannah Tomkins
The social standing of the surgeon-apothecary cannot be determined by reference to professional life alone, yet few such men left social documents. The lower middling sort was typically reticent about evaluations of their own social position in any source genre. This article uses a unique archive, and the concept of community connectedness, to investigate the status of Thomas Higgins, surgeon-apothecary and man-midwife of north Shropshire. Higgins embodied the traditional practitioner who relied on local knowledge and his 'friends' for advancement, in contrast to alternative modes of rising professionalism...
2011: Journal of Social History
Robert C Schwaller
Since the fifteenth century, the term "mulato" has been used to describe individuals of mixed African and European ancestry. Through an examination of mulatos from sixteenth century New Spain this piece complicates our understanding of the usage and implication of this socio-racial ascription. Both demographic and anecdotal evidence suggests that in the early colonial period mulato frequently described individuals of mixed African-indigenous ancestry. Moreover, these individuals may have represented the majority of individuals so named...
2011: Journal of Social History
Abosede George
For almost two decades between the close of the Second World War and Nigerian independence in 1960, the British colonial state which faced a crisis of legitimacy in Lagos upheld city ordinances that made itinerant trading by young children in Lagos a punishable status offense. Although anti-trading regulations were gender-neutral in their language, girls were disproportionately sanctioned for engaging in street trading and related activities. In defending their concentration on girl sellers over boy sellers, colonial welfare officials painted a picture of the urban context as an inherently dangerous context and of girls as being particularly at risk of violent assault in the city, making them particularly in need of protection from town life...
2011: Journal of Social History
Neil Roos
During the Second World War (1939-1945), South African military authorities employed various regimes to mould white South African soldiers as citizens of a particular type. These coincided broadly with traditions of racial statehood identified by David Goldberg, and included attempts at ideological control – through the liberal Army Education Scheme, a compulsory adult education project – as well as disciplinary interventions, which concentrated on soldiers' sexuality. The ways that ordinary soldiers responded to these divergent discourses reminds us that whiteness in a racial state was elaborated not just from above, but also below...
2011: Journal of Social History
Cristian Berco
Whereas traditional social and health histories have viewed the garments of early modern patients accessing hospital care as evidence of their poverty, this article reinterprets the meaning of patient clothing in the context of a venereal disease hospital in Toledo, Spain, in the seventeenth century. Patients carefully selected what they wore as they entered the hospital to produce certain effects on local audiences. Thus, these choices can be understood as body scripts meant to be read in certain ways rather than mere reflections of actual social status...
2011: Journal of Social History
Hanan Hammad
This article traces prostitution in al-Mahalla in the first half of the 20th century as a regulated urban practice until the trade was outlawed in Egypt in 1949. Studying prostitution during this period of exceptionally rapid growth and transformation not only provides a window on a particular type of illicit sexuality and public morality in a colonial context, it also gives us a hint as to gender relations and inter-communal relations on the invisible marginalized part of a provincial local community, and how it was socially transformed...
2011: Journal of Social History
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