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  • Introduction

    Nicole Elizabeth Barnes

    Chapter from the book: Barnes, N. 2018. Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945.


    Gender analysis of wartime medicine reveals the centrality of women in building the national community among China’s illiterate majority. Women who performed the emotional labor of healing not only created bonds of intimacy between the people but also expanded state power over people’s bodies. In so doing, they simultaneously affirmed the duality of the “sick (wo)man of East Asia” discourse—its salience for both male and female bodies—and proved that the Sick Woman could be the nation’s healer. Women constructed Chinese hygienic modernity through their labor that shaped the nation both literally (through exercising state power in health organizations) and figuratively (through creating the relationships that formed the national community).

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    Barnes, N. 2018. Introduction. In: Barnes, N, Intimate Communities. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.59.a

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Oct. 23, 2018


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