Biosocialities, Genetics and the Social Sciences: Making by Sahra Gibbon, Carlos Novas

By Sahra Gibbon, Carlos Novas

Biosocialities, Genetics and the Social Sciences explores the social, cultural and fiscal variations that end result from concepts in genomic wisdom and technology.

This pioneering assortment makes use of Paul Rabinow’s suggestion of biosociality to chart the shifts in social family members and ideas approximately nature, biology and id caused by means of advancements in biomedicine. in line with new empirical study, it includes chapters on genomic learn into embryonic stem cellphone remedy, breast melanoma, autism, Parkinson’s and IVF therapy, in addition to at the expectancies and schooling surrounding genomic study.

It covers 4 major themes:

  • novel modes of id and id, similar to genetic citizenship
  • the function of associations, starting from disorder advocacy businesses and voluntary organisations to the state
  • the creation of organic wisdom, novel life-forms, and technologies
  • the new release of wealth and advertisement pursuits in biology.

Including an afterword by means of Paul Rabinow and case studies on the UK, US, Canada, Germany, India and Israel, this book is key examining for students and researchers of the hot genetics and the social sciences – relatively clinical sociologists, clinical anthropologists and people concerned with technology and expertise studies.

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Additional resources for Biosocialities, Genetics and the Social Sciences: Making Biologies and Identities

Example text

A bit ‘breast cancer as it used to be’ as one person put it. Another pointed out how she hadn’t necessarily wanted to hear about history of surgery and left feeling a bit ‘flat’ because there was nothing as she said about ‘what was happening in the research now’ adding that ‘the year before it had all been so enthusiastic’. If the redemptory hope of genetic knowledge tied in the formative years of the charity to the hype associated with efforts to sequence the human genome had fuelled at the same time it was informed by a mode health activism situated in terms of fundraising as memorialisation, the months and years that followed which witnessed shifts in scientific understanding about how genetic knowledge would inform health care, raised questions about how this powerful conjunction between science and activism would be sustained.

It is interesting to note however how the figure of the ‘BRCA carrier’ sits within this nexus of interests and investments, coalescing and condensing a collective and gendered expression of inter-generational need, hope and risk in relation to breast cancer. The seemingly productive points of connection between fundraising as memorialisation, the quest for science as ‘knowledge’ or ‘cure’ and the value of predictive knowledge in the context of this particular arena of breast cancer activism provide some illustration of enabling scope of the distributed biosocialities linked to BRCA genetics.

While genetic research appears to have helped fuel this kind of ‘activist’ identity or mode of identification within a cancer research charity for most, significantly, this is not the case for all fundraisers. In fact during the time of my research with the charity it became increasingly clear that the currently limited clinical application of BRCA genes did not sit easily with such a goal, as the quest for genes that linked the work of the charity with the Human Genome Project in earlier years became increasingly replaced by the messier business of functional genomics: a shifting context for the pursuit of genetic knowledge explored in relation to a second ethnographic excerpt.

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