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category: History
published: April 1991
ISBN:9780771086892

The Age of Light, Soap, and Water

Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885-1925

by Mariana Valverde

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post-confederation (1867-)
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $29.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback eBook
category: History
published: April 1991
ISBN:9780771086892
Description

"

BACK IN PRINT WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION

The turn of the last century saw a great wave of moral fervour among Protestant social reformers in English Canada. Their targets for moral reform were various: sex hygiene, immigration policy, slum clearance, prostitution, and “white slavery.”

Mariana Valverde’s groundbreaking The Age of Light, Soap, and Water examines the work and the ideas of moralist clergy, social workers, politicians, and bureaucrats who sought to maintain – or create – a white Protestant Canada. The morality idealized by evangelical, feminist, and medical activists was not, as is often assumed, completely repressive and puritanical. On the contrary, the self-defined social purity movement at the centre of this book talked endlessly about sex in order to create a health sexuality among both native-born and immigrant Canadians. Sexual health was linked to racial purity, and both of these were in turn linked to efforts to abolish urban slums by means of symbolic as well as physical “light, soap, and water.” Back in print with a new introduction by the author, this classic work offers fascinating insights on the social history of Canada.

" learance, prostitution, and "white slavery."

Mariana Valverde's groundbreaking The Age of Light, Soap, and Waterexamines the work and the ideas of moralist clergy, social workers, politicians, and bureaucrats who sought to maintain - or create - a white Protestant Canada. The morality idealized by evangelical, feminist, and medical activists was not, as is often assumed, completely repressive and puritanical. On the contrary, the self-defined social purity movement at the centre of this book talked endlessly about sex in order to create a healthy sexuality among both native-born and immigrant Canadians. Sexual health was linked to racial purity, and both of these were in turn linked to efforts to abolish urban slums by means of symbolic as well as physical "light, soap, and water."

This study uncovers a little known dimension of Canadian social history and shows that moral reform was not the project of a marginal puritanical group but was central to the race, class, and gender organization of modern English Canada.

About the Author
Mariana Valverde is the director of the University of Toronto's Centre of Criminology, a noted international research center. She is the author of several books on questions of law and social control and has participated in many community organizations. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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