America’s Diverse Cultures
The Social Hygiene Movement and New Liberalism
The image, “Danger in Familiarities,” was published in 1922 by the Social Hygiene
Society of Minnesota.
This was part of the broader social hygiene movement supported at the
federal level by the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Social Hygiene Association.
serves as an excellent illustration for Roderick A. Ferguson’s critique on state and capital.
ad hoc definition of the state, for this paper, will be the collective representation of the social
hygiene movement, which drawing support from universities, politicians, and medical
practitioners, was authorized by U.S. state and federal governments.
In this paper I will analyze the “Dangers in Familiarities” image, through the Ferguson
critique on state and capital, to explain how the state’s aim for universality of its citizenry,
obscured sound epidemiological science, under a veil of racial ideology.
Furthermore, I will
assert that that the state’s discourse towards certain vices and noticeable particularities, during
Century America, strengthened new social formations that already contained a
proliferation of discourse in opposition to the state.
Ferguson’s critique on capital, “that capital produces emergent social formations that
exceed the racialized boundaries of gender and sexual ideals,” can be applied to the roaring
twenties, the first period of liberalism in 20
century United States, and the image under
The image was in state protest against the rising disdain, among young woman, of
their conventional roles in society, and attempted to educate against the dangers of vice by
encouraging the joys of conventional womanhood.
Popularized by the term Flapper, these
young women were known to listen to Jazz music, have bobbed haircuts, wear short skirts, drink,