Health and hegemony: Preventive medicine, immigrants and the Israeli melting pot Academic Article uri icon


  • IN RECENT DECADES MUCH HISTORICAL research has been published on the core role of public health in the formulation of various social practices. Additional research highlights the ongoing process of medicalization of daily life that has been taking place over the past two centuries-a process in which key events in our lives, from birth to death, have become legitimate subjects for discussion by various medical experts: physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, dietitians, and others.' One of the outstanding areas in which public health personal have played a significant role in the hegemonic machinery of the state is the formulation of policy vis-a-vis absorption of immigrants.2 Public health personnel stationed at points of immigration entry (such as at Ellis Island in the United States) have become part of a machinery for supervision and classification of immigrants in which preservation of the health policies within the homelands of the immigrants constitutes the guiding principle underlying their work. In recent years, questions of health and immigration have been fueled by accelerating globalization processes. The attitude of health systems workers toward immigration have even been the subject of conferences and countless articles.3 The "marking" of the immigrant as an Other by veteran populations-as a source of disease, crime, and social ills that contaminates local societies-is a recurrent theme in various host coun-

publication date

  • January 1, 2004