William H. Sheldon and the culture of the somatotype
Gatlin, Stephen H.
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The burden of this dissertation is to show that William Sheldon's somatotype project should be seen as an integral aspect of modernist culture. Sheldon engaged the same problems with modernity and the "Second Industrial Revolution" (urbanization, overpopulation, industrialization, alienation) that confronted modernist poets, novelists, and philosophers. In this I am elaborating Dorothy Ross's recent metaphor, "modernist impulses in the human sciences" (1994). Both scientists and artists were responding to the social chaos and fragmentation engendered by WWI, by capitalism, and by a science and technology that was often felt to have run amok. Advocacy of eugenics for Anthony Ludovici, William Sheldon, and Aldous Huxley (polemics against â promiscuous breedingâ , overpopulation, medical and psychological holism, 'aristocracyâ , nobility) was another means of defending conservative values against the onslaught of modernism.
- Doctoral Dissertations