Morality, ‘Cleanliness’ and Geography: Sex and Contagion in Cardiff’s Docklands

Interesante estudio sobre Salud Pública que integra tanto consideraciones geográficas como sociológicas. Los enfoques tan multidisciplinares son complejos, pero mejoran muchísimo nuestra comprensión de los procesos que también son complejos.


By Simon Jenkins

In 1935 the British Social Hygiene Council commissioned a report on social conditions in the dockland districts of Cardiff, Liverpool and London. The author of the report, ex-Navy Captain F. A. Richardson, declared that ‘Morality and cleanliness are as much matters of geography as they are dependent on circumstances.’[1] But in which particular ways were ideas of ‘morality’ and ‘cleanliness’ linked to one another, and to environment? Why was this a pressing concern for ports?

Through the example of Cardiff, I will explore how ideas of sex, race and prostitution have geographical aspects, and have, in a word, been ‘spatialized’. The dockland area of Butetown, in particular, became linked to specific problems by the interwar period, being seen by observers as a site of prostitution, disease and miscegenation. A central feature of this concern about space was anxieties over the sexual conduct of ‘colored seamen’ and…

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