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Mixed MedicinesHealth and Culture in French Colonial Cambodia$
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Sokhieng Au

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226031637

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226031651.001.0001

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: Social Medicine

: Social Medicine

(p.93) Four: Social Medicine
Mixed Medicines
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes public health, mass education, and the colonial shift toward population health and away from individual health. The increased interest in social medicine and eugenics in 1930s France resulted in a new drive in public health services in its colonies. Epidemics disrupted the commercial activity of the colony, and commercial activity was of prime importance to colonial government, including Indochina. A careful analysis of the perspectives of doctors, patients, and bureaucrats demonstrates the subtle evolution of medical significations and practices. Khmer adoption of parts of French models of disease causation without abandoning their own traditional beliefs was to the French a mark of bad faith, illogic, or insincerity. By the end of the 1930s, the country would witness a rise in reports of sorcery. The indigenous population adopted some measures for improved public hygiene and eagerly adopted specific, widely distributed medications such as quinine and stovarsol.

Keywords:   social medicine, public health, mass education, colonial shift, population health, eugenics, France, Indochina, Khmer

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