Chapter ID: CBB735927645

Making Medical Ideologies: Indentured Labor in Mauritius (2016)


This chapter investigates how and why sugar estate owners in one Indian Ocean1 context—Mauritius—contributed to the making of a medical ideology2 that regimented the “body” of labor. While existing historiography of the relationship between colonial India and the British Empire in the tropics emphasizes the role of India as a center of sub-imperialism,3 this chapter argues that plantation colonies with their regulative security state apparatus, in collaboration with the Indian colonial state, acted as the source of particular medical ideologies and practices concerning indentured workers. By drawing on the experiences of health administration of indentured immigrant workers in Mauritius, a sugar colony in the Indian Ocean, this chapter highlights how medical ideologies concerning workers’ health and the control of pandemics among workers were contingent on various factors (such as cost-cutting measures, perceptions, and physicality of climates) and were formed diversely either in Mauritius or in medical circles in Calcutta.

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Authors & Contributors
Bastos, Cristiana
Burnett, Kristin
Cheke, A. S.
Doyle, Shane
Eriksen, Annelin
Gómez, Pablo F.
History and Anthropology
British Journal for the History of Science
Comparative Studies in Society and History
Eighteenth-Century Studies
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Palgrave Macmillan
Oxford University Press
UBC Press
Yale University Press
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Great Britain, colonies
Medicine and culture
Public health
Lamotius, Isaac Johannes
Mahony, Martin
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
17th century
18th century
20th century, late
Indian Ocean
East Africa
Great Britain
Rockefeller Foundation
British Museum
East India Company (English)

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