the social life of dna race reparations and reconciliation after the genome

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The Social Life Of Dna

Author : Alondra Nelson
ISBN : 9780807033029
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32. 21 MB
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The unexpected story of how genetic testing is affecting race in America We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life is both revelatory and endlessly fascinating. Tracing genealogy is now the second-most popular hobby amongst Americans, as well as the second-most visited online category. This billion-dollar industry has spawned popular television shows, websites, and Internet communities, and a booming heritage tourism circuit. The tsunami of interest in genetic ancestry tracing from the African American community has been especially overwhelming. In The Social Life of DNA, Alondra Nelson takes us on an unprecedented journey into how the double helix has wound its way into the heart of the most urgent contemporary social issues around race. For over a decade, Nelson has deeply studied this phenomenon. Artfully weaving together keenly observed interactions with root-seekers alongside illuminating historical details and revealing personal narrative, she shows that genetic genealogy is a new tool for addressing old and enduring issues. In The Social Life of DNA, she explains how these cutting-edge DNA-based techniques are being used in myriad ways, including grappling with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations specifically based on ancestry. Nelson incisively shows that DNA is a portal to the past that yields insight for the present and future, shining a light on social traumas and historical injustices that still resonate today. Science can be a crucial ally to activism to spur social change and transform twenty-first-century racial politics. But Nelson warns her readers to be discerning: for the social repair we seek can’t be found in even the most sophisticated science. Engrossing and highly original, The Social Life of DNA is a must-read for anyone interested in race, science, history and how our reckoning with the past may help us to chart a more just course for tomorrow. From the Hardcover edition.

The Postgenomic Condition

Author : Jenny Reardon
ISBN : 9780226345192
Genre : Science
File Size : 44. 51 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Now that we have sequenced the human genome, what does it mean? In The Postgenomic Condition, Jenny Reardon critically examines the decade after the Human Genome Project, and the fundamental questions about meaning, value and justice this landmark achievement left in its wake. Drawing on more than a decade of research—in molecular biology labs, commercial startups, governmental agencies, and civic spaces—Reardon demonstrates how the extensive efforts to transform genomics from high tech informatics practiced by a few to meaningful knowledge beneficial to all exposed the limits of long-cherished liberal modes of knowing and governing life. Those in the American South challenged the value of being included in genomics when no hospital served their community. Ethicists and lawyers charged with overseeing Scottish DNA and data questioned how to develop a system of ownership for these resources when their capacity to create things of value—new personalized treatments—remained largely unrealized. Molecular biologists who pioneered genomics asked whether their practices of thinking could survive the deluge of data produced by the growing power of sequencing machines. While the media is filled with grand visions of precision medicine, The Postgenomic Condition shares these actual challenges of the scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, bioethicists, lawyers, and patient advocates who sought to leverage liberal democratic practices to render genomic data a new source of meaning and value for interpreting and caring for life. It brings into rich empirical focus the resulting hard on-the-ground questions about how to know and live on a depleted but data-rich, interconnected yet fractured planet, where technoscience garners significant resources, but deeper questions of knowledge and justice urgently demand attention.

Reconsidering Race

Author : Kazuko Suzuki
ISBN : 9780190465308
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 37. 22 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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Race is one of the most elusive phenomena of social life. While we generally know it when we see it, it's not an easy concept to define. Social science literature has argued that race is a Western concept that emerged with the birth of modern imperialism, whether in the sixteenth century (the Age of Discovery) or the eighteenth century (the Age of Enlightenment). This book points out that there is a disjuncture between the way race is conceptualized in the social sciences and in recent natural science literature. In the view of some proponents of natural-scientific perspectives, race has a biological- and not just a purely social - dimension. The book argues that, to more fully understand what we mean by race, social scientists need to engage these new perspectives coming from genomics, medicine, and health policy. To be sure, the long, dark shadow of eugenics and the Nazi use of scientific racism cast a pall over the effort to understand the complicated relationship between social science and medical science understandings of race. While this book rejects pseudoscientific and hierarchical ways of looking at race and affirms that it is rooted in social grounds, it makes the claim that it is time to move beyond merely repeating the "race is a social construct" mantra. The chapters in this book consider three fundamental tensions in thinking about race: one between theories that see race as fixed and those that see it as malleable; a second between Western (especially US-based) and non-Western perspectives that decenter the US experience; and a third between sociopolitical and biomedical concepts of race. The book will help shed light on multiple contemporary concerns, such as the place of race in identity formation, ethno- political conflict, immigration policy, social justice, biomedical ethics, and the carceral state.

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