Article ID: CBB816275491

Overpopulation, Racial Degeneracy and Birth Control in French Colonial Vietnam (2018)

unapi

This article examines the Vietnamese writings on overpopulation, racial decline and birth control that were published in Vietnamese journals in the 1930s. Navigating between different demographic and sexual discourses, both local and global, Vietnamese birth control activists took a stern and critical look at the compounding problems of overpopulation and racial decline in colonial Tonkin. They identified the Confucian pro-natalist traditions with its laissez-faire approach towards reproduction and childrearing as the roots of the overpopulation crisis in Tonkin. Rejecting the French solution of demographic balancing while stressing the linkages between reproduction and national standing, Vietnamese birth control activists called for cultural changes in the customs of marriage and family building, and a stricter surveillance over procreative and sexual behaviors. In the context of French surveillance and censorship, the Vietnamese debate on overpopulation and birth limitation provided rich fodder for local intellectuals to envision and articulate their aspirations for national revival and racial preservation.

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http://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB816275491/

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Authors & Contributors
Monnais, Laurence
Dyck, Erika
Edington, Claire Ellen
Vann, Michael G.
Gawin, Magdalena
Ramsden, Edmund
Journals
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Medical History
French Colonial History
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Publishers
University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom
Columbia University
Cornell University
University of Nebraska Press
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Concepts
Birth control; contraception; sterilization
Eugenics
Demography; population research
Nationalism
Science and race
France, colonies
People
Du Bois, William Edward B.
Keith, Arthur
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century, late
Places
Vietnam
Great Britain
Europe
Poland
Romania
Norway
Institutions
American Eugenics Society
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