Health, Discipline and Appropriate Behaviour : the Body of the Soldier and Space of the Cantonment

Wald, Erica. 2012. Health, Discipline and Appropriate Behaviour : the Body of the Soldier and Space of the Cantonment. Modern Asian Studies, 46(4), pp. 815-856. ISSN 0026-749X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Anxiety about the intemperance and misbehaviour of the European soldiery in nineteenth century India prompted a raft of regulations which not only imposed a punitive regime on those living and working in and around the cantonments, but prompted an extension of military space. This paper specifically examines the methods and levels of control—both of which existed and were attempted in and around the cantonment. These ranged from regulations enacted to order the physical space of the cantonment, to calls for a more direct control over the bodies of the soldiers themselves as well as the numerous others who occupied the land. Crucially for this argument, moral and medical concerns were of critical importance in moulding this ordering. However, as this paper argues, social and class perceptions of the men—and the fear of provoking their wrath—dictated what officers and officials felt was legally possible. The various ways in which the military and government imposed order on the cantonment (or attempted to do so) had serious implications for the shaping of the empire itself and European understanding of its inhabitants.

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Research Office > REF2014



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Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2013 09:57

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2017 13:19

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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