"A Great Blessing to Defective Humanity": Women and the Eugenics Movement in North Carolina, 1910-1940 Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Krome-Lukens, Anna L.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This thesis examines the various ways that white middle-class women in early twentieth-century North Carolina drew on eugenics ideology as part of broad social reform efforts. Several groups of women--clubwomen, female state welfare officials, and female social workers--had divergent goals in their appropriation of eugenics principles, but nevertheless cooperated to create state-run custodial institutions and a sterilization program. I analyze how female reformers' individual circumstances and identities tinged their political stances and forays into eugenics and progressivism, emphasizing the diversity of viewpoints among women reformers in North Carolina. I argue that examining the way individuals interpreted and employed eugenics principles is critical to understanding the eugenics movement generally, as it provides a nuanced view of the impact of eugenics on the lives of both reformers and targets--their fellow citizens.
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  • In Copyright
  • Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd
  • Open access

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