Title page for ETD etd-05222007-091439

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Gatlin, Stephen H.
URN etd-05222007-091439
Title William H. Sheldon and the culture of the somatotype
Degree PhD
Department Science and Technology Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Barker, Peter Committee Co-Chair
La Berge, Ann F. Committee Co-Chair
Burian, Richard M. Committee Member
Hardcastle, Gary L. Committee Member
Moyer, Albert E. Committee Member
  • social problems
  • modern society
  • technology
Date of Defense 1997-03-01
Availability restricted
The burden of this dissertation is to show that William Sheldon's somatotype project should be seen as an integral aspect of modernist culture. Sheldon engaged the same problems with modernity and the "Second Industrial Revolution" (urbanization, overpopulation, industrialization, alienation) that confronted modernist poets, novelists, and philosophers. In this I am elaborating Dorothy Ross's recent metaphor, "modernist impulses in the human sciences" (1994). Both scientists and artists were responding to the social chaos and fragmentation engendered by WWI, by capitalism, and by a science and technology that was often felt to have run amok.

Advocacy of eugenics for Anthony Ludovici, William Sheldon, and Aldous Huxley (polemics against “promiscuous breeding”, overpopulation, medical and psychological holism, 'aristocracy’, nobility) was another means of defending conservative values against the onslaught of modernism.

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