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Cloning Wild LifeZoos, Captivity, and the Future of Endangered Animals$
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Carrie Friese

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814729083

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814729083.001.0001

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Genetic Values

Genetic Values

(p.119) 5 Genetic Values
Cloning Wild Life

Carrie Friese

NYU Press

This chapter explores how cloning reproduces and sustains the centrality of sex in the biopolitics of the zoo. Focusing on the cloned banteng, it considers the so-called “genetic values” that are so central to zoological parks today. In this context, the zoo is envisioned not as a place populated by hundreds of clones, carbon copies of endangered animals living in the wild, but as a place that uses available technologies in order to manage sexual reproduction, and thus sustain a deftly balanced genetic composition within a limited amount of space. The chapter analyzes the context of genetic value vis-à-vis the ways in which selective breeding has historically been constituted to create what Harriet Ritvo has called “genetic capital” in agriculture. It also discusses the biopolitics of genetic values in the case of domestic animals and concludes by examining genetic values in relation to nature and culture, as well as the kinds of wild life and endangered species that are enabled by the genetic values of zoos.

Keywords:   cloning, biopolitics, genetic value, zoological parks, endangered animals, sexual reproduction, zoos, genetic capital, domestic animals, selective breeding

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