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The Material GeneGender, Race, and Heredity after the Human Genome Project$
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Kelly E. Happe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814790670

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814790670.001.0001

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Ideology and the New Rhetoric of Genomics

Ideology and the New Rhetoric of Genomics

(p.1) 1 Ideology and the New Rhetoric of Genomics
The Material Gene

Kelly E. Happe

NYU Press

This introductory chapter explains how genomics is dependent on normative conceptions of the gendered, raced, and bounded body. Epistemologically and rhetorically, genomics effects the dematerialization of the body and its embeddedness in historically specific environments when biological matter is translated into the language of gene sequences and risk assessment. The body becomes just so much information. Yet the body rematerializes when genomics must make fathomable and palpable the body at risk, both to fashion medical subjects and to engage in the making of procedural rules and norms necessary to formalize and routinize particular sets of interventions. Not only must genomics rely on cultural discourses about the body to translate genetic information into body practices, but in doing so it will in turn participate in their construction. It thus contributes to our shared meanings of race, gender, and embodied life.

Keywords:   genomics, biopolitics, race, gender, cultural discourses, dematerialization of the body

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