Making the Categories Make Sense: Eugenic Research Methodologies and Support for Forced Sterilization Policy at the University of Virginia Medical School, 1915-1927

Duric, Petar, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Wayland, Kent, PV-International Studies, University of Virginia
Brunelle, Nathan, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

When evaluating research or analytical methodologies, observers will tend to prioritize instrumental concerns. They will tend to ask “Does this methodology glean useful information?” However, a cursory survey of the history of the academy will produce a series of case studies that demonstrate how research and analysis can be conducted in ways that take for granted certain ideologically motivated assumptions, to the point that such ideology is “baked in” to the analysis being performed. Scholars have wrestled with this epistemological problem extensively in history, literary studies, and sociology. This thesis evaluates the ways in which some faculty at the UVA Medical School in the early 20th century "baked in" their ideological presuppositions about race and disability into their empirical methods of data collection and representation.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Lempel-Ziv '78, Eugenics, Forced Sterilization
Issued Date: