chapter  4
33 Pages

Serial Outbreaks

Florence Nightingale and the Narrative Practice of Nursing
ByChung-jen Chen

Chapter 4 examines the formation of the economy of morality, as depicted in Florence Nightingale’s accounts of filth as a form of moral degeneration. Professionalized knowledge and power may have been made institutional within the space of the hospital, but the drive to govern and surveil individual bodies pervaded the advice given for the maintenance of domestic spaces such as the living room, bedroom, restroom, toilets, and dining room. The time and space of contagion was not restricted to the hospital wards but was also informed by the priorities of the medical professionalism, the administrative and financial needs of the ruling class, and the mechanism of the collective and individual body politics.