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Who is a Native American? And who gets to decide? From genealogists searching online for their ancestors to fortune hunters hoping for a slice of casino profits from wealthy tribes, the answers to these seemingly straightforward questions have profound ramifications. The rise of DNA testing has further complicated the issues and raised the stakes. In Native American DNA, Kim TallBear shows how DNA testing is a powerful—and problematic—scientific process that is useful in determining close biological relatives. But tribal membership is a legal category that has developed in dependence on certain social understandings and historical contexts, a set of concepts that entangles genetic information in a web of family relations, reservation histories, tribal rules, and government regulations. At a larger level, TallBear asserts, the “markers” that are identified and applied to specific groups such as Native American tribes bear the imprints of the cultural, racial, ethnic, national, and even tribal misinterpretations of the humans who study them. TallBear notes that ideas about racial science, which informed white definitions of tribes in the nineteenth century, are unfortunately being revived in twenty-first-century laboratories. Because today’s science seems so compelling, increasing numbers of Native Americans have begun to believe their own metaphors: “in our blood” is giving way to “in our DNA.” This rhetorical drift, she argues, has significant consequences, and ultimately she shows how Native American claims to land, resources, and sovereignty that have taken generations to ratify may be seriously—and permanently—undermined.
Because today's DNA testing seems so compelling and powerful, increasing numbers of Native Americans have begun to believe their own metaphors: "in our blood" is giving way to "in our DNA." In Native American DNA, Kim TallBear shows how Native American claims to land, resources, and sovereignty that have taken generations to ratify may be seriously-and permanently-undermined.
Over the last decade or so, the field of science and technology studies (STS) has become an intellectually dynamic interdisciplinary arena. Concepts, methods, and theoretical perspectives are being drawn both from long-established and relatively young disciplines. From its origins in philosophical and political debates about the creation and use of scientific knowledge, STS has become a wide and deep space for the consideration of the place of science and technology in the world, past and present. The Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology and Society seeks to capture the dynamism and breadth of the field by presenting work that pushes the reader to think about science and technology and their intersections with social life in new ways. The interdisciplinary contributions by international experts in this handbook are organized around six topic areas: embodiment consuming technoscience digitization environments science as work rules and standards This volume highlights a range of theoretical and empirical approaches to some of the persistent – and new – questions in the field. It will be useful for students and scholars throughout the social sciences and humanities, including in science and technology studies, history, geography, critical race studies, sociology, communications, women’s and gender studies, anthropology, and political science.
This book explores how human population genetics has emerged as a means of imagining and enacting belonging in contemporary society. Venla Oikkonen approaches population genetics as an evolving set of technological, material, narrative and affective practices, arguing that these practices are engaged in multiple forms of belonging that are often mutually contradictory. Considering scientific, popular and fictional texts, with several carefully selected case studies spanning three decades, the author traces shifts in the affective, material and gendered preconditions of population genetic visions of belonging. Topics encompass the debate about Mitochondrial Eve, ancient human DNA, temporality and nostalgia, commercial genetic ancestry tests, and tensions between continental and national genetic inheritance. The book will be of particular interest to scholars and students of science and technology studies, cultural studies, sociology, and gender studies.
Race is one of the most elusive phenomena of social life. While we generally know it when we see it, it's not an easy concept to define. Social science literature has argued that race is a Western concept that emerged with the birth of modern imperialism, whether in the sixteenth century (the Age of Discovery) or the eighteenth century (the Age of Enlightenment). This book points out that there is a disjuncture between the way race is conceptualized in the social sciences and in recent natural science literature. In the view of some proponents of natural-scientific perspectives, race has a biological- and not just a purely social - dimension. The book argues that, to more fully understand what we mean by race, social scientists need to engage these new perspectives coming from genomics, medicine, and health policy. To be sure, the long, dark shadow of eugenics and the Nazi use of scientific racism cast a pall over the effort to understand the complicated relationship between social science and medical science understandings of race. While this book rejects pseudoscientific and hierarchical ways of looking at race and affirms that it is rooted in social grounds, it makes the claim that it is time to move beyond merely repeating the "race is a social construct" mantra. The chapters in this book consider three fundamental tensions in thinking about race: one between theories that see race as fixed and those that see it as malleable; a second between Western (especially US-based) and non-Western perspectives that decenter the US experience; and a third between sociopolitical and biomedical concepts of race. The book will help shed light on multiple contemporary concerns, such as the place of race in identity formation, ethno- political conflict, immigration policy, social justice, biomedical ethics, and the carceral state.
The book from the interdisciplinary fields of queer theory, critical race theory, feminist political theory, disability studies, and indigenous studies to demonstrate that analyzing contemporary notions of citizenship requires understanding the machinations of governmentality and biopolitics in the (re)production of the proper citizen.

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