Desirable And Undesirable Migrants: Disease, Eugenics, And Discourses In Modern Buenos Aires

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Journal Of Iberian And Latin American Studies


Immigration was a central feature in the making of modern Buenos Aires. Elites celebrated the massive presence of immigrants but also voiced concerns about the arrival of certain groups perceived as potentially dangerous to the making of a healthy, modern “Argentine race.”Eugenic discourses rationalized those concerns around the idea of desirable and undesirable immigrants. People with tuberculosis were part of the latter. These discourses, however, were merely discourses, either not implemented in practice or mostly inconsequential. This article underlines the importance of being cautious when historical narratives of eugenics are only based on discourses.


Argentina, selection of immigrants, eugenic discourses and practices, tuberculosis

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