Washing hands after going to the bathroom is a regulated behavior.


Washing hands after going to the bathroom is a regulated behavior. People did not wash their hands regularly after going to the bathroom or before preparing food, it became a common practice in civilized societies only within the past 150 years. What regulatory forces are in play that moved us from non-hand-washing to handwashing behaviors? Write an essay to analyze the regulation of hand-washing. This assignment will be due in two parts: a preliminary report and a final one. The imaginary audience for your essay is the task force for improving hand-washing compliance. They already know the public health reasons hand-washing, they don’t need to be persuaded of that. But they haven’t thought about the existing hand-washing regulatory regime and how effective it is. In your essay, people are Lessig’s Dot, and you analyze the forces that have guided the Dots of the world to (mostly) wash their hands in relation to going to the bathroom and preparing or consuming food. The final section of your essay should include some evidence as to how well handwashing regulation is working in one particular context. The context might be public washrooms, or food-handling situations, or you pick it. The question has been studied, you need to find the studies. Your essay should include examples of all four forces, along with the notions of indirect regulation and regulability. Recall that the forces are:

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