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Encyclopedia of Anthropology

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Encyclopedia of Anthropology

H. James Birx

Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Euthenics

John K. Grandy

Euthenics is a branch of art and science that deals with the improvement of human functioning, efficiency, and well-being by modifying controllable environmental factors such as living conditions and education. The word euthenics is derived from the Greek word euthenein , which means,“to thrive or flourish.” One of the first known authors to make use of the word euthenics was Ellen Swallow Richards (1842–1911) in her book The Cost of Shelter (1905). She used the word euthenics to mean “the science of better living.” In 1926, the Daily Colonist summarized euthenics as “efficient living.” In 1967, Technology Week went on to define euthenics as “man's environmental opportunity,” “his education.” In all of these nascent definitions, the idea of improving human-kind and human functioning by the concept of modifying controllable conditions, such as better shelter, efficient living, and education, is present. In 1869, an English scientist, Sir Francis Galton (also cousin ...

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