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Genetic Nature/Culture

Anthropology and Science beyond the Two-Culture Divide

Alan H. Goodman (Editor), Deborah Heath (Editor), M. Susan Lindee (Editor), Sydel Silverman (Foreword), Ricardo Ventura Santos (Contributor), Karen Sue Taussig (Contributor), Rayna Rapp (Contributor), Hilary Rose (Contributor), Sarah Franklin (Contributor), Donna Haraway (Contributor), Charmaine Royal (Contributor), Chaia Heller (Contributor), Frederika Kaestle (Contributor), Himla Soodyall (Contributor), Alan R. Templeton (Contributor), Rick Kittles (Contributor), Jonathan Marks (Contributor), Troy Duster (Contributor), Arturo Escobar (Contributor), Joan H. Fujimura (Contributor) & 15 more

Available worldwide

Paperback, 328 pages
ISBN: 9780520237933
November 2003
$34.95, £27.00
Other Formats Available:
The so-called science wars pit science against culture, and nowhere is the struggle more contentious—or more fraught with paradox—than in the burgeoning realm of genetics. A constructive response, and a welcome intervention, this volume brings together biological and cultural anthropologists to conduct an interdisciplinary dialogue that provokes and instructs even as it bridges the science/culture divide.

Individual essays address issues raised by the science, politics, and history of race, evolution, and identity; genetically modified organisms and genetic diseases; gene work and ethics; and the boundary between humans and animals. The result is an entree to the complicated nexus of questions prompted by the power and importance of genetics and genetic thinking, and the dynamic connections linking culture, biology, nature, and technoscience. The volume offers critical perspectives on science and culture, with contributions that span disciplinary divisions and arguments grounded in both biological perspectives and cultural analysis. An invaluable resource and a provocative introduction to new research and thinking on the uses and study of genetics, Genetic Nature/Culture is a model of fruitful dialogue, presenting the quandaries faced by scholars on both sides of the two-cultures debate.
List of Illustrations
Sydel Silverman
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction. Anthropology in an Age of Genetics: Practice, Discourse, and Critique
M. Susan Lindee, Alan Goodman, and Deborah Heath


Human Populations/Genetic Resources

1. Indigenous Peoples, Changing Social and Political Landscapes, and Human Genetics in Amazonia
Ricardo Ventura Santos

2. Provenance and the Pedigree: Victor McKusick’s Fieldwork with the Old Order Amish
M. Susan Lindee

3. Flexible Eugenics: Technologies of the Self in the Age of Genetics
Karen-Sue Taussig, Rayna Rapp, and Deborah Heath

4. The Commodification of Virtual Reality: The Icelandic Health Sector Database
Hilary Rose

Animal Species/Genetic Resources

5. Kinship, Genes, and Cloning: Life after Dolly
Sarah Franklin

6. For the Love of a Good Dog: Webs of Action in the World of Dog Genetics
Donna Haraway

7. 98% Chimpanzee and 35% Daffodil: The Human Genome in Evolutionary and Cultural Context
Jonathan Marks


Political and Cultural Identity

8. From Pure Genes to GMOs: Transnationalized Gene Landscapes in the Biodiversity and Transgenic Food Networks
Chaia Heller and Arturo Escobar

9. Future Imaginaries: Genome Scientists as Sociocultural Entrepreneurs
Joan H. Fujimura

10. Reflections and Prospects for Anthropological Genetics in South Africa
Himla Soodyall

Race and Human Variation

11. The Genetics of African Americans: Implications for Disease Gene Mapping and Identity
Rick Kittles and Charmaine Royal

12. Human Races in the Context of Recent Human Evolution: A Molecular Genetic Perspective
Alan R. Templeton

13. Buried Alive: The Concept of Race in Science
Troy Duster

14. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Promise and Problems of Ancient DNA for Anthropology
Frederika A. Kaestle

List of Contributors

Alan H. Goodman is Professor of Biological Anthropology at Hampshire College. Deborah Heath is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lewis and Clark College. M. Susan Lindee is Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
“It is rare that an edited volume achieves the level of interdisciplinary that Genetic Nature/Culture does, while at the same time preserving a coherent focus and a uniformly high quality of essays. This is a superlative volume that will be a great teaching text . . . This is a very flexible, useful, intelligent, and welcome book.”—Michael Fortun Journal Of The History Of Biology
"Genetic Nature/Culture presents an engaging, intelligent, and, above all, necessary conversation within and beyond anthropology. These essays, diverse yet always mutually engaged, move past often-assumed intellectual boundaries in innovative and principled ways. They simultaneously shape, map, and challenge our understandings of the complex common ground on which genetics, culture, and history intersect—and, in so doing, help point toward a critical role for anthropology, now and in the future."—Don Brenneis, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

"The editors have carefully and coherently organized the book to shed light on the complex interplay of biology, culture, ideology and myth—on the ‘tangled politics’ of nature and culture in the increasingly contentious age of genetics."—Dorothy Nelkin, author (with Suzanne Anker) of The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age

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