This pioneering collection uses Paul Rabinow’s concept of biosociality to chart the shifts in social relations and ideas about nature, biology and identity brought about by developments in biomedicine. Based on new empirical research, it contains chapters on genomic research into embryonic stem cell therapy, breast cancer, autism, Parkinson’s and IVF treatment, as well as on the expectations and education surrounding genomic research.
It covers four main themes:novel modes of identity and identification, such as genetic citizenship the role of institutions, ranging from disease advocacy organizations and voluntary organizations to the state the production of biological knowledge, novel life-forms, and technologies the generation of wealth and commercial interests in biology.
Including an afterword by Paul Rabinow and case studies on the UK, US, Canada, Germany, India and Israel, this book is key reading for students and researchers of the new genetics and the social sciences – particularly medical sociologists, medical anthropologists and those involved with science and technology studies.
Key themes addressed include the way genomic based DNA technologies have become incorporated into diverse arenas of clinical practice and research whilst also extending beyond the clinic; the role of genomics in contemporary ‘bioeconomies’; how challenges in the governance of medical genomics can both reconfigure and stabilise regulatory processes and jurisdictional boundaries; how questions of diversity and justice are situated across different national and transnational terrains of genomic research; and how genomics informs – and is shaped by – developments in fields such as epigenetics, synthetic biology, stem cell, microbial and animal model research.
Presenting cutting edge research from leading social science scholars, the Handbook provides a unique and important contribution to the field. It brings a rich and varied cross disciplinary social science perspective that engages with both the history and contemporary context of genomics and ‘post-genomics’, and considers the now global and transnational terrain in which these developments are unfolding.