Norman Edwin Himes’s "Eugenics and Democracy: A Call to Action" (1939). The Eugenic Manifesto of a Devote Carverian

Author/s Luca Fiorito, Valentina Erasmo
Publishing Year 2022 Issue 2022/2
Language English Pages 30 P. 47-76 File size 129 KB
DOI 10.3280/SPE2022-002002
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This note presents an unpublished 1939 address given by the American sociologist and population specialist Norman Edwin Himes on “Eugenics and Democracy: A Call to Action. Himes’s discussion of eugenics and democracy has a two-fold relevance. First, it provides further evidence that among population studies specialists a generalized commitment to eugenics persisted well beyond the era of the so-called Progressive Era and continued throughout the 1930s. Second, Himes’s approach reveals an attempt to reformulate a eugenic agenda along “liberal” lines, which was intended to distance him from the coercive and racialist approach of his progressive predecessors. Yet, it will be shown, even though Himes seemed to temper the extremism of the earlier movement with sociological and voluntaristic language, there was little actual change in the ultimate goals of his agenda regardless of the apparent switch to democratic eugenics.

Keywords: Birth control; Carver, Thomas N.; Eugenics; Himes, Norman E.; Pro-gressive Era.

Jel codes: A12, B20, B31

Luca Fiorito, Valentina Erasmo, Norman Edwin Himes’s "Eugenics and Democracy: A Call to Action" (1939). The Eugenic Manifesto of a Devote Carverian in "HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY" 2/2022, pp 47-76, DOI: 10.3280/SPE2022-002002