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The growth of `new genetics' has dramatically increased our understanding of health, diseases and the body. Anthropologists argue that these scientific advances have had far-reaching social and cultural implications, radically changing our self-understanding and perception of what it means to be human; that we have become `biomedicalized', fragmented and commodified – redefining our notions of citizenship, social relations, family and identity.
Anthropology and the New Genetics shows how anthropology can contribute to and challenge the ways we have come to understand genetic issues. Exploring a range of issues and case studies in genetic research, it provides an ethnographic `reality-check', arguing that we must look beyond the `gene-centrism' of genetic codes, family trees and insular populations, to explore their wider cultural, ethical and philosophical implications.
"[...] provides a good overview of emerging concepts and theory in anthropology in relation to genetics."
- Medische Antropologie
"Pálsson shows that anthropology and genetics have much to offer each other. [...] Anthropology and the New Genetics is a provocative book that provides an excellent overview of the anthropological and theoretical issues raised by genetics. [...] Pálsson's book will likely be appreciated by graduate students, anthropologists, and other social scientists studying human genetics, science and technology, biomedicine and bioethics, as well as by scholars with interests in the body, relatedness, and race."
- Medical Anthropology Quarterly
1. Introduction: 'as deep as life itself'
2. Birthmarks become landmarks: little worlds in themselves
3. Genealogies, relationships and histories
4. Biobanking: medical records and genetic databases
5. For whom the cell tolls: bioethics
6. Biovalue: appropriating genomes
7. Human variation
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Gisli Palsson is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland.
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