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Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas

Print version ISSN 1981-8122


GOMES, Ana Carolina Vimieiro. The rise of biotypology in Brazil: measuring and classifying the morphology, physiology and character of Brazilians in the 1930s. Bol. Mus. Para. Emílio Goeldi. Ciênc. hum. [online]. 2012, vol.7, n.3, pp.705-719. ISSN 1981-8122.

The article analyses the rise of biotypology in Brazilian biomedical sciences during the 1930s, at the Faculdade de Medicina do Rio de Janeiro, where a Laboratory of Biotypology was linked to the chair of Clinical Propaedeutics. Biotypology embraced experimental science and constitutional medicine. The holistic view of the individual body prevailed and its scientific practices included morphological, physiological and psychological measures as the basis for classification. Through the book "O Normotypo Brasileiro", published by the doctor Isaac Brown, the article is concerned on the practices for measurement and classification of biological characteristics of the Brazilian bodies. The biotypological models adopted in Brazil were inspired by the works of the Italians Nicola Pende, Giacinto Viola, and Mario Barbàra. However, the Brazilian physicians founded their own classification patterns, adapting and reconstructing the original models. At a time of intense debate on 'national identity', I suggest that the biotypology, with its producing people practices, was mobilized as an instrument for defining the Brazilian physical type.

Keywords : Biotypology; Normality; Normotype; National identity.

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