Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Intersecting Discourses on Tropicality and Disease Causation: Representations of Réunion's Mosquito-borne Epidemics in the Scientific Literature

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Asian Journal of Social Science

In this paper we examine whether discourses of tropicality were affected by paradigm shifts in Western thinking about medicine. If tropicalist thinking reflects latent Western assumptions about the 'Other', tropicalism should persist through major shifts in Western thought. Here we explore whether or not such persistence is evident in representations in the scientific literature of mosquito-borne diseases on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion and where discrete epidemics occurred before, during and after a paradigm shift in Western thinking about disease causation. Late in the 19th Century, miasma theory (epidemics caused by unhealthy air) was replaced by microbial theory (epidemics caused by transmission of microbes) as the dominant scientific understanding of disease causation. We analyse representations of mosquito-borne epidemics in the contemporaneous scientific literature about Réunion for evidence of both tropicalism and a shift in the scientific paradigm. In pre-microbial representations, the unhealthy tropical environments thought to be responsible for miasmatic disease transmission are associated predominantly with the non-white population; in microbial representations non-whites are directly blamed for the spread of tropical infections. The paper argues that the persistence of tropicalist thinking through a major paradigm shift in the Western understanding of disease causation supports Said's (1979) contention that 'Othering' is a generalisable ahistorical phenomenon, and discusses issues of economic exigency that may have supported an ongoing tropicalist influence on public health practice in French overseas departments.

Affiliations: 1: University of Western Australia

Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156853109x436856
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/156853109x436856
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156853109x436856
2009-06-01
2016-12-07

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Asian Journal of Social Science — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation