School Hygiene in Bulgaria at the Beginning of 20th Century: Cultural Images, Institutional Roles and Practices Cover Image
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"Училищна хигиена" в България от началото на ХХ век: културни образи, институционални роли и практики.
School Hygiene in Bulgaria at the Beginning of 20th Century: Cultural Images, Institutional Roles and Practices

Author(s): Gergana Mircheva
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институт за изследвания на обществата и знанието при БАН

Summary/Abstract: At the beginning of 20th century the institutional figure of the so called „teacher-physician“ was introduced in the Bulgarian secondary schools. He was commissioned with health-sanitary, medico-pedagogical and administrative tasks. Their institutional hybrid, as well as the activities of the general civil sanitary authorities regarding primary schools, was often labelled as „school hygiene“ in official and specialised texts. The article deals with certain forms of school hygiene, particularly those built upon its sanitary layer and represented through claims of medical knowledge to develop expert power over student’s health and function as a preventive technology of „social hygiene“ with certain biopolitical effects. It studied to what extent, why and how certain cultural images of social and moral (dis)order circulated within the school institutional milieu as medicalised metaphors of bodily and mental, individual and collective (non-)health. It is argued that under the framework of Bulgarian institutionalisation at that time the school doctor’s role mediated between the rhetorical structures of the medical discourse, on the one hand, and their usages on behalf of the state for the construction of a sound „social organism“, on the other. School hygiene itself was inscribed into the project for reconstruction and restoration to health of the collective „people’s organism“ through surveillance and prevention of the „school people“. A conclusion is made that in the period under review some capital of the nation-minded rhetoric was accumulated and legitimated through biomedical norms as well. By reason of certain institutional deficits, however, it reminded to a great extent latent in stead of being articulated in mass practices of „biopower“ (M. Foucault).

  • Issue Year: 39/2007
  • Issue No: 3-4
  • Page Range: 238-265
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Bulgarian