Biology Unmoored Melanesian Reflections on Life and Biotechnology

ISBN-10: 0520247132

ISBN-13: 9780520247130

Edition: 2007

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Description: Superbly researched and masterfully written, Biology Unmoored is an engaging examination of what it means to live in a world that is not structured in terms of biological thinking. Drawing upon almost three years of ethnographic research in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Sandra Bamford describes a world in which physiological reproduction is not perceived to ground human kinship or human beings' relationships to the organic world. Using indigenous understandings as a counter-reflexive voice through which to consider recent social and technological developments in Europe and North America, Bamford exposes the ways in which Western ideas about relatedness depend on a notion of physiological reproduction. In the process, the author challenges many taken-for-granted assumptions about biology that have underpinned a great deal of social science theory. Her innovative analysis includes a discussion of the advent of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs), the mapping of the human genome, cloning, the commodification of biodiversity, and the manufacture and sale of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). On a broader scale, this pioneering book engages at a comparative level with questions concerning what it is to be human, how we perceive our ancestors and descendants, issues of gender and kinship, the politics of reproduction, and the role of science and technology in the contemporary world.

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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 2/20/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Conceptual Frameworks
Cultural Landscapes
Insubstantial Identities
Embodiments of Detachment
(Im)Mortal Undertakings
Conceiving Global Identities
Conclusion: Conceptual Displacements
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