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Look Inside Anthropology and the New Genetics

Anthropology and the New Genetics


Part of New Departures in Anthropology

  • Date Published: August 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521671743

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About the Authors
  • The growth of 'new genetics' has dramatically increased our understanding of health, diseases and the body. Anthropologists argue that these scientific advances have had far-reaching social and cultural implications, radically changing our self-understanding and perception of what it means to be human; that we have become 'biomedicalized', fragmented and commodified - redefining our notions of citizenship, social relations, family and identity. This book shows how anthropology can contribute to and challenge the ways we have come to understand genetic issues. Exploring a range of issues and case studies in genetic research, it provides an ethnographic 'reality-check', arguing that we must look beyond the 'gene-centrism' of genetic codes, family trees and insular populations, to explore their wider cultural, ethical and philosophical implications. Including coverage of the controversial and widely discussed Icelandic Health Sector Database, this accessible survey will be welcomed by graduate students and researchers in social anthropology, human genetics and biotechnology.

    • Engages with both the scientific advances of genetic research, and their theoretical and social implications
    • Discusses in detail some of the most important genetic databases and research projects that have emerged since the late 1990s
    • Provides a fresh and original perspective on how we understand ourselves and our bodies in light of new scientific advances
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… provides a good overview of emerging concepts and theory in anthropology in relation to genetics.' Medische Antropologie

    'Pálsson shows that anthropology and genetics have much to offer each other. … Anthropology and the New Genetics is a provocative book that provides an excellent overview of the anthropological and theoretical issues raised by genetics. … Pálsson's book will likely be appreciated by graduate students, anthropologists, and other social scientists studying human genetics, science and technology, biomedicine and bioethics, as well as by scholars with interests in the body, relatedness, and race.' Medical Anthropology Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521671743
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: 'as deep as life itself'
    2. Birthmarks become landmarks: 'little worlds in themselves'
    3. Genealogies, relationships and histories
    4. Biobanking: medical records and genetic databases
    5. For whom the cell tolls: bioethics
    6. Biovalue: appropriating genomes
    7. Human variation
    8. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Gísli Pálsson, University of Iceland, Reykjavik
    Gísli Pálsson is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland.

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