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Eugenic FeminismReproductive Nationalism in the United States and India$
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Asha Nadkarni

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816689903

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816689903.001.0001

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Eugenic Feminism and the Problem of National Development

Eugenic Feminism and the Problem of National Development

(p.1) Introduction Eugenic Feminism and the Problem of National Development
Eugenic Feminism

Asha Nadkarni

University of Minnesota Press

This introductory chapter presents the accounts of birth control activists Margaret Sanger and Dhanvanthi Rama Rau to argue that positive eugenics in pre-independence Indian nationalist feminism is largely supplanted in the post-World War II era of development by the negative eugenics of population control. Positive eugenics promotes better breeding to make the “finest men and women possible,” while negative eugenics is concerned with controlling the reproduction of men and women deemed unfit. The chapter shows how movements for birth control and reproductive rights can be aligned with emancipatory discourses.

Keywords:   Margaret Sanger, Dhanvanthi Rama Rau, Indian nationalist feminism, negative eugenics, positive eugenics

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