By Vladimir Janković (auth.)
This ebook explores the social origins of the Western preoccupation with overall healthiness and environmental dangers. It seems to be on the upward push of the dichotomy among the weak 'in' and the threatening 'out' through reading the pathologies linked to climate, family area, air flow, garments, and commute in Britain on the flip of the nineteenth century.
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Additional info for Confronting the Climate: British Airs and the Making of Environmental Medicine, 1st Edition
Ritual condemnation of its influence on minds and bodies became a catchphrase in the ideological battle to legitimate aristocratic rule and define culture in terms of masculinity, temperance, and moral integrity. Regardless of political inclination, the public spirit was often portrayed as nearly equivalent to abstinence from luxury. The elimination of “the moral and natural causes” of political degradation became more important than any specifically “political” act of amelioration. In the shared consensus over the dangers of luxury and effeminacy to which it led, temperance, modesty, and rationality were emblematic of the English national character.
101 In literature, it referred to a state of impropriety and nakedness. ”102 Whether an umbrella, hat, or E XPOSED AND VULNER ABLE 39 roof, the existence of a shelter was implied in all usages referring to the unpleasantness of a space outside one’s intimate comfort. 105 The fusion of somatic and social exposures signaled a major moment in the history of British and European medical theory and practice. A contained problematic, addressing the conditions of a delicate population, now became a universal indicator of environmental life, marked by the medically biased notions of sensibility and vulnerability.
No studies exist on the pathologies of bathroom humidity, church chills, basement dews, kitchen smells, and bedroom heats. Historical accounts of environmental medicine proceed on the assumption of weather as an “outside” entity evolving away from shelter, comfort, and warmth of the domestic realm. The weather is seen as outside the physical spaces in which people live, work, sleep, and entertain themselves for at least eighty percent of their lives. , from within the space of domestic ease, from the safety of shelter and behind the window of a weather-tight house.