Disease and Crime: A History of Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Disease and Crime

A History of Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health, 1st Edition

Edited by Robert Peckham


198 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138957428
pub: 2015-10-16
Hardback: 9780415836197
pub: 2013-10-10
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pub: 2013-12-04
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Disease and crime are increasingly conflated in the contemporary world. News reports proclaim "epidemics" of crime, while politicians denounce terrorism as a lethal pathological threat. Recent years have even witnessed the development of a new subfield, "epidemiological criminology," which merges public health with criminal justice to provide analytical tools for criminal justice practitioners and health care professionals. Little attention, however, has been paid to the historical contexts of these disease and crime equations, or to the historical continuities and discontinuities between contemporary invocations of crime as disease and the emergence of criminology, epidemiology, and public health in the second half of the nineteenth century. When, how and why did this pathologization of crime and criminalization of disease come about? This volume addresses these critical questions, exploring the discursive construction of crime and disease across a range of geographical and historical settings.


"Part of the Routledge Studies in Cultural History series, Disease and Crime is a well-integrated collection of essays that span the (post-) colonial histories of medicine, law and politics in East Asia and Europe. Comprising eight compact chapters and an admirably well-synthesized introduction, this volume takes an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and comparative approach. Unlike many edited volumes, Disease and Crime is superbly organized and can be read cover to cover. Vibrant theoretical discussions are grounded in context-driven case studies examining the social, cultural and political forces that shape categories of disease and crime. Refreshingly not Eurocentric, the historical studies cover England, France, Germany and Italy as well as Hong Kong, Japan and Mainland China… The mobilization of medical knowledge for legal purposes is a persistent issue in diverse cultural contexts. As long as science, disease and crime continue to be conflated to aggregate, subjugate and regulate populations, critical enquiry will be necessary. Disease and Crime offers a sound representation of scholarship in this area. This highly readable volume will interest scholars in anthropology, history, sociology, medical humanities and area studies. As an excellent example of solid, high quality, robust scholarship, Disease and Crime will satisfy early career researchers and experienced academics alike."

-- Paul H. Mason, Social History

"[The book] is a unique and ambitious collection that fills many gaps and bridges many divides. It is global in scope, and manages to match the individual chapters’ themes of global connection by studying areas with a broad global and temporal scope, yet making coherent connections between all of them. The individual chapters are well written, the volume well-constructed, and it is deserving of a place in the library of any reader interested in the interplay of disease and crime in historical and contemporary thought."

-- Erin J. Lux, Social History of Medicine

Table of Contents

Introduction: Pathologizing Crime, Criminalizing Disease Robert Peckham Part I 1. Hong Kong’s Floating World: Disease and Crime at the Edge of Empire Carol C.L. Tsang 2. Sexual Deviancies, Disease, and Crime in Cesare Lombroso and the "Italian School" of Criminal Anthropology Chiara Beccalossi 3. Pathological Properties: Scenes of Crime, Sites of Infection Robert Peckham 4. Morality Plays: Presentations of Criminality and Disease in Nazi Ghettos and Concentration Camps Michael Berkowitz Part II 5. The "Bad" and the "Sick": Medicalizing Deviance in China Børge Bakken 6. Contagious Wilderness: Avian Flu and Suburban Riots in the French Media Frédéric Keck 7. The Criminalization of Industrial Disease: Epidemiology in a Japanese Asbestos Lawsuit Paul Jobin 8. Crime Between History and Natural History Mark Seltzer

About the Editor

Robert Peckham is Co-Director of the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, where he teaches in the Department of History.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Cultural History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Social History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disease & Health Issues