Date of Award





Master of Art in History


History and Geography


This study traces the eugenics movement in Georgia, focusing on the ideology behind the social policies that led to the forced sterilizations of over four thousand Georgians from 1939 to 1965. This thesis will address the following questions: 1) How were Georgia’s public policies affected by eugenics? 2) To what extent were the racial views of Georgians affected by scientific proclamations? 3) What role did the public schools play in educating the populace about eugenics? This research will focus primarily on the scientific racial dynamic of America during the twentieth century, arguing that American political thought and the idea of a racial hierarchy were heavily influenced by eugenic ideology, which served as an "objective" justification for white hegemonic sociopolitical control. This approach to the subject challenges previous scholarship on the history of eugenics in Georgia by illustrating how the social philosophy influenced white supremacy, thus shaping the state’s socio-political policies.

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