chapter  2
36 Pages

Verbalizing Contagion

Edwin Chadwick’s Narratives and the Rise of Public Health Governance
ByChung-jen Chen

Chapter 2 is a brief history of the dominance of the miasma theory in the theorization and application of public health movements in the early Victorian era. The miasma theory posited a congruent link between health and environment and highlighted the importance of sanitation, ventilation, and regulation in the environments of daily life. This strategy is seen most vividly in the writings of Edwin Chadwick and his fellow campaigners for public health in their resolution to affiliate medical knowledge of contagion with pragmatic practice of social control at the bureaucratic level that was verbalized in narrative modes.