Genetics and the Unsettled Past

Genetics and the Unsettled Past

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Our genetic markers have come to be regarded as portals to the past. Analysis of these markers is increasingly used to tell the story of human migration; to investigate and judge issues of social membership and kinship; to rewrite history and collective memory; to right past wrongs and to arbitrate legal claims and human rights controversies; and to open new thinking about health and well-being. At the same time, in many societies genetic evidence is being called upon to perform a kind of racially charged cultural work: to repair the racial past and to transform scholarly and popular opinion about the a€œnaturea€ of identity in the present. Genetics and the Unsettled Past considers the alignment of genetic science with commercial genealogy, with legal and forensic developments, and with pharmaceutical innovation to examine how these trends lend renewed authority to biological understandings of race and history. This unique collection brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplinesa€”biology, history, cultural studies, law, medicine, anthropology, ethnic studies, sociologya€”to explore the emerging and often contested connections among race, DNA, and history. Written for a general audience, the booka€™s essays touch upon a variety of topics, including the rise and implications of DNA in genealogy, law, and other fields; the cultural and political uses and misuses of genetic information; the way in which DNA testing is reshaping understandings of group identity for French Canadians, Native Americans, South Africans, and many others within and across cultural and national boundaries; and the sweeping implications of genetics for society today.They are employed in biomedical settingsa€”for instance, to examine an individuala#39;s genetic predisposition to disease. ... can apprehend how genetics is increasingly relied upon to answer fundamental questions, not only about human identity, anbsp;...

Title:Genetics and the Unsettled Past
Author: Keith Wailoo, Alondra Nelson, Catherine Lee
Publisher:Rutgers University Press - 2012-03-15

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