Translated Titles

Medical Knowledge for the Wife Popular Health Manuals in Taiwan, 1950s-2000s




王秀雲(Hsiu-Yun Wang)

Key Words

身體史 ; 醫療普及知識 ; 性別 ; 自我 ; history of the body ; popular medical texts ; gender ; self ; Taiwan



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

76期(2009 / 12 / 01)

Page #

119 - 177

Content Language


Chinese Abstract

本文分析戰後以來台灣坊間出版的女性衛生保健書籍(名稱不一,可為婦女健康百科全書、婦女保健手冊、家庭健康百科、婦女衛生手冊、或婦女醫學手冊等等)的興起的歷史脈絡及其知識內容,尤其是其中所建構的一套關於女性身體的醫療觀點。本文追溯這類知識在戰後以來的歷史,並指出70年代是寶鑑形成與成熟的重要時間點。在內容方面,此類女性醫普書籍延續了西方醫療知識傳統,將女人的身體等同於女人的社會處境,本質化且自然化女人生育的身體,故稱此醫普知識為「太太醫學」。女性醫普書籍的社會條件,包括女性受教育的普及與提升、經濟社會變遷及以男醫師為主的本土醫普知識寫作者的興起。 而筆者認為60、70年代以來,台灣社會大眾文化中的自我(或自己)論述,是寶鑑知識傳播的基礎,女性醫普知識呈現了女人自我與身體之間緊密的連結。最後,在70年代之後,雖然此類女性醫普書籍確定其主要讀者為女人,但是由於許多醫普書籍作者(無論是本土或是國外)均強調醫普書的功能在於為醫師節省看診時間,其主要服務對象畢竟是醫師,而此亦是決定這些書籍的內容與觀點的重要因素,也是為何女人的疾病或身體經驗鮮少成為此類書籍的內容的原因。

English Abstract

This paper examines the historical context of the emergence of popular health manuals for women in Taiwan since the 1950s. These health manuals, with titles that include various permutations of ”woman's health encyclopedia,” ”woman's health manual,” ”family health encyclopedia,” ”woman's hygiene manual,” and ”woman's medical manual,” have been an important source of knowledge for naturalizing women's social status as wives and child-bearers. Wife Medicine, Marital Medicine, Woman's Medicine and numerous other books published in Taiwan (in Chinese) over the last six decades have depicted marriage and reproduction as being at the very core of a woman's life. These popular health manuals began to appear early in the post WWII period, but it was during the 1970s that they became commonplace. Two key circumstances in the emergence of these manuals were the social and economic changes brought about by industrialization and the rise in the education level of women, who formed the basic readership for popular medical texts. Previously they had largely been translations from Western and Japanese texts, but now, as an outgrowth of the rise in stature of Taiwan's medical profession many local men physicians also began to author such guides for the modern woman. In addition, discourses on the self-e.g., popular psychology, literary writings, existentialist philosophy, and up-lifting advice literature-were widely distributed since the 1970s across various areas of public life, which made it easy for popular medical texts to find their place among them. The popular medical texts for women provided a model for what is was to be an appropriate woman: how to take care of oneself and one's body as a functional member of a modern society. Books that were authorized by the mainstream medical profession were considered essential for such needs. A woman's self and her body became the same thing in the production of such medical knowledge. To be sure, these popular manuals were meant to serve as a device to save physicians time, as many of their prefaces noted; they wanted women to go the doctor's office prepared with ”correct” basic knowledge. Writing a kind of prescriptive literature advising women about their lives and bodies, the authors and publishers of these texts assumed more cultural authority than others of other prescriptive moral genres through their claims of the scientific basis of their knowledge.

Topic Category 社會科學 > 社會學
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