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Decolonizing Dominant Narratives

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Chapter Summary

This chapter summarizes the major obstacles Puerto Rican physicians confronted as an intermediate elite in their attempt to reconcile the meanings of national progress under U.S. colonial authority, and specifically, in relation to the development of medicine and the public health administration. It suggests these empirical findings had subsequent implications for global health and for the expansion of capital more generally. The chapter explores the relationship between these findings and identifies the underlying dynamic of competition that centered on defining politics and the public interest with critical political implications not only in the early twentieth century, but also well beyond into the twenty first century as well. Decolonizing the narrative about Puerto Rico's modernization, and the critical role played by medical science in the process, requires careful consideration of how Puerto Rican physicians endeavoured to wrest the benefits of modernity from the colonial relationship.

Keywords: colonial authority; public health; Puerto Rico's modernization



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