The Conquest of Water
This study of the social and cultural "conquest" of water in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries describes and analyzes the ways in which water was gradually turned into a manageable resource and employed for the purposes of hygiene and for a variety of other uses in everyday social life. Goubert traces the conquest of water back to the development of a body of scientific and technical knowledge about water and to the implementation of this knowledge in a range of practical policies. The aim of these policies was to raise the health standards of the population, an objective which was pursued through education, through medicine and through the media. The practical conquest of water has, in turn, placed water at the centre of modern civilization and transformed our actions, attitudes and customs. The abundant supply of clean, pure water has transformed our very notions of cleanliness, hygiene, household management and the practical ecology of living in modern society.
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- Hardback | 250 pages
- 152 x 229mm | 590g
- 17 Aug 1989
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
- 19 illustrations, further reading list
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Table of contents
Part 1 Water, purity and hygiene: new knowledge; new objectives; the triumph of hygiene. Part 2 Mass diffusion: the power of the press; the role of the hospital; schools and the moulding of attitudes. Part 3 The effects of the conquest: water becomes an industrial product; the development of the infrasctructure; water in everyday life. Conclusion: the significance of change.