Dahlke, Kevin (1997) A safer and more civilized country : gun control, public health, and the state monopoly on force. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
The study looks at some cultural, political, and historical aspects of the idea that gun ownership is a "public health problem". The strategy is to reinterpret modern public health in terms of its relationship to the modern State. Public health is located in a milieu of beliefs and values associated with discourses on "civilization" and the "social contract". The latter generated beliefs that individuals are dangerous, in order to legitimate the State monopoly on force; this idea is the basis of public health, which seeks to direct unlimited State power to control danger. The contemporary public health discourse on gun control is examined; beneath ultra-technocratic pretensions lie myths of "the natural state". "Injury prevention" casts all citizens as driven by "impulses", which can only be contained by strict gun control; this view is shaped by the discourse of the "social contract". Gun control proposals reflect cultural beliefs about the need to "civilize" individuals by subordinating them to the State. This shows the ideological roots of technocratic efforts at improving "safety"; gun control is a priority because of the importance attached to State monopolized force in the ideology of "civilization".
|Divisions:||Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology|
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Pagination:||vi, 160 leaves ; 29 cm.|
|Degree Name:||Theses (M.A.)|
|Program:||Dept. of Sociology and anthropology|
|Thesis Supervisor(s):||Buckner, H. Taylor|
|Deposited By:||Concordia University Libraries|
|Deposited On:||27 Aug 2009 13:11|
|Last Modified:||08 Dec 2010 10:14|
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