Thesis ID: CBB001567448

Prescription for a Nation: Public Health in Post-Revolutionary Bolivia, 1952--1964 (2013)


Pacino, Nicole Lohman (Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara
Laveaga, Gabriela Soto
Rappaport, Erika
Zulawski, Ann
Rappaport, Erika
Miescher, Stephan
Zulawski, Ann
Miescher, Stephan

Publication Date: 2013
Edition Details: Advisor: Laveaga, Gabriela Soto; Committee Members: Rappaport, Erika, Miescher, Stephan, Zulawski, Ann.
Physical Details: 374 pp.
Language: English

This dissertation examines the extension of public health programs into the countryside following the 1952 Bolivian National Revolution, which put the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (National Revolutionary Movement, MNR) into power. Historical studies of the Bolivian Revolution have focused on its political and economic agenda, mainly agrarian reform, nationalization of the mining industry, and granting of universal suffrage to formerly disenfranchised populations. However, public health was as important to the revolutionary government's plan for political, economic, and cultural consolidation as these well-explored topics. Though public health programs focused on maternal and infant health, vaccinations, and disease control projects, I argue they were designed to consolidate and institutionalize the revolution, boost a faltering economy, and foster revolutionary nationalism. Public health provides a lens for a cultural analysis of the MNR's political, economic, and social agenda and reveals the gender and racial dynamics of the revolutionary state formation process. Health campaigns in Bolivia in the 1950s and 1960s were linked to hierarchies of gender, race, and citizenship; the MNR thought public health programs would eradicate a perceived impediment to Bolivia's progress by transforming rural living conditions, linking indigenous communities to the national government, and producing a healthy citizenry and workforce. Local, national, and international levels of analysis provide a multifaceted understanding of the negotiation of health, citizenship, and identity during the revolutionary period and show that health campaigns were created and contested in multiple political and cultural arenas. Internationally, the MNR relied on funding and personnel from the United States and incorporated international public health rhetoric into its own campaigns. At the national level, government officials and doctors conjoined revolutionary rhetoric and public health programs. Local communities articulated their own version of this rhetoric to demand the government fulfill its revolutionary promises by providing health services. Therefore, public health provides a framework for examining social relations, identity formation, and the contestation of power in modern Bolivia.


Description Cited in Dissertation Abstracts International-A 75/01(E), Jul 2014. Proquest Document ID: 1448528990.

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Authors & Contributors
Berg, Anne Hagen
Huzair, Farah
Thomas, Gaëtan
Hatch, Anthony Ryan
Strings, Sabrina
Pateau, Alexandre
Science in Context
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
American Quarterly
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Medical History
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Duke University Press
University of California, Irvine
University of North Carolina Press
University of Minnesota Press
University of Chicago Press
New York University Press
Public health
Medicine and race
Medicine and gender
Vaccines; vaccination
African Americans and science
Medicine and government
Salk, Jonas Edward
Roux, Émile
Behring, Emil von
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
21st century
United States
Georgia (U.S.)
Rockefeller Foundation
Institut für Infektionskrankheiten, Berlin
Institut Pasteur, Paris

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