The Enculturated Gene: Sickle Cell Health Politics and Biological Difference in West Africa

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Overview

"Duana Fullwiley has produced a richly textured ethnography of what it means to study the way medical science approaches a disease across broad cultural landscapes. In so doing, she has built a bridge across C. P. Snow's 'two cultures.'"—Troy Duster, author of Backdoor to Eugenics

"In this meticulously crafted ethnography, Fullwiley exposes the tragic human consequences of a belief in a 'mild form' of sickle cell anemia thought to affect Senegalese. International donors, scientists, and local peoples alike adhere to this belief, fueled by cultural strategies of coping in an environment of shocking medical lack. This first book-length ethnography about genetic disease in Africa, a must-read for social scientists and health care professionals, demonstrates irrevocably how tangled power relations and biogenetic difference inform embodiment and subjectivity."—Margaret Lock, coauthor of An Anthropology of Biomedicine

"An important contribution to the social studies of science and critical medical anthropology, The Enculturated Gene offers an insightful perspective on and a sensitive understanding of the experiences and dilemmas of patients, doctors, and scientists dealing with sickle cell anemia in West Africa."—Didier Fassin, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton

"Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, The Enculturated Gene admirably demonstrates how sickle cell disease forms new associations in and between the domains of biomedicine, biopolitics, and the everyday lives of sufferers. Fullwiley demonstrates that universalistic, biomedical concepts of disease have only limited value in understanding embodied, situated disease."—Stefan Beck, Humboldt University of Berlin

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Editorial Reviews

Anthropological Quarterly
Duana Fulwilley has produced an extraordinary work that incorporates the insights of anthropology as well as science and technology studies of genetics and race. It is also exceptional in its multi-sited focus on Senegal and France, since many similar studies of genetics have tended to focus on the US and Europe.
— Elisha P. Renne
Anthropological Quarterly - Elisha P. Renne
Duana Fulwilley has produced an extraordinary work that incorporates the insights of anthropology as well as science and technology studies of genetics and race. It is also exceptional in its multi-sited focus on Senegal and France, since many similar studies of genetics have tended to focus on the US and Europe.
Biz India - Paiso Jamakar

This book of Duana Fullwiley, an associate professor of anthropology at Harvard University, is essentially a 'medical ethnography' or the study of the Senegalese people relating to the ailments and diseases they are afflicted with. But despite its title, this book is not just a scholarly treatise. It is a shocking expose on how the lack of medical resources and health care funding in Senegal have had tragic and fatal consequences upon sickle cell anemia sufferers there.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2014 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology, American Anthropological Association

Winner of the 2011 Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology, Royal Anthropological Institute

"Duana Fulwilley has produced an extraordinary work that incorporates the insights of anthropology as well as science and technology studies of genetics and race. It is also exceptional in its multi-sited focus on Senegal and France, since many similar studies of genetics have tended to focus on the US and Europe."—Elisha P. Renne, Anthropological Quarterly

"The Enculturated Gene is the product of over ten years of research beginning in the late 1990s. The book is stunning in its scope and attention to a full range of issues, from discoveries in the lab to knowledge production in the clinic to global health responses. . . . By elucidating ethnographically the contingencies that have produced the local and global health responses to sickle cell disease, Fullwiley shows us that health policy is as much a product of culture and subjectivity as affective responses to physical and existential pain."—Carolyn Rouse, Medical Anthropology Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691123172
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/27/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,432,316
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Duana Fullwiley is associate professor of anthropology at Stanford University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii
Preface ix
Acknowledgments xxv
Chapter One: Introduction: The Powers of Association 1
Chapter Two: Healthy Sicklers with "Mild" Disease: Local Illness Aff ects and Population- Level Eff ects 45
Chapter Three: The Biosocial Politics of Plants and People 77
Chapter Four: Attitudes of Care 119
Chapter Five: Localized Biologies: Mapping Race and Sickle Cell Difference in French West Africa 158
Chapter Six: Ordering Illness: Heterozygous "Trait" Suff ering in the Land of the Mild Disease 197
Chapter Seven: The Work of Patient Advocacy 221
Conclusion: Economic and Health Futures amid Hope and Despair 250
Notes 275
References 307
Index 329

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    Posted March 23, 2014

    Wolverine

    He walked through the armory, slashing through its wares bit by bit, with each one saying "breakable" "breakable" until he foud sonething his claw didnt cut through, which he tossed into a pile.

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