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The Material Gene: Gender, Race, and Heredity after the Human Genome Project (Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, and Health in the 21st Century)

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File Size : 2.5 MB

ISBN : 0814790682 978-0814790687 9780814790687 9780814790694


Kelly E. Happe (Author)


In 2000, the National Human Genome Research Institute announced the completion of a “draft” of the human genome, the sequence information of nearly all 3 billion base pairs of DNA. In the wake of this major scientific accomplishment, the focus on the genetic basis of disease has sparked many controversies as questions are raised about radical preventative therapies, the role of race in research, and the environmental origins of illness. In The Material Gene, Kelly Happe explores the cultural and social dimensions of our understandings of genomics, using this emerging field to examine the physical manifestation of social relations.
Situating contemporary genomics medicine and public health within a wider history of eugenics, Happe examines how the relationship between heredity and dominant social and economic interests has shifted along with transformations in gender and racial politics, social movement, and political economy. Happe demonstrates that genomics is a type of social knowledge, relying on cultural values to attach meaning to the body. The Material Gene situates contemporary genomics within a history of genetics research yet is attentive to the new ways in which knowledge claims about heredity, race, and gender emerge and are articulated to present-day social and political agendas.
Kelly E. Happe is assistant professor of communication studies and women’s studies at the University of Georgia.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (May 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814790682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814790687
  • ISBN-13: 9780814790687
  • eText ISBN: 9780814790694


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