Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Slumbering Masses – Sleep, Medicine, and Modern American Life - Minnesota Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Slumbering Masses: Sleep, Medicine, and Modern American Life

Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer


The book traces the interactions of American allopathic medicine, industrial capitalism, and the human desire for sleep from the late 18th century through the turn of the 21st century. The foundation of contemporary American sleep is laid in the 19th century, when industrial workday demands the coordination and consolidation of sleeping and waking patterns. What was lost in this transition was unconsolidated sleep – instead of two nightly periods of rest, or daily naps supplemented with nightly sleep, one eight hour period of sleep was substituted as a new norm. This norm laid the basis for th ... More

Keywords: Medical anthropology, science and technology studies, cultural studies, American studies, Medicalization, Biopolitics, Desire, Affect, disability studies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780816674749
Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816674749.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer, author
Assistant Professor, Anthropology, UC-Santa Cruz