Sociological Perspectives on the New Genetics. Sociology of Health and Illness Monographs

  • ID: 2247695
  • Book
  • 228 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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We are at the dawn of a new age. The Human Genome Project, the largest biological research enterprise in history, promises to have our entire genetic structure mapped by 2001. Our media report new scientific claims of genes associated with diseases, conditions, behaviours or personality traits so regularly that it seems that we are being provided with a gene–of–the week. The new genetics revolution has ramifications far beyond the esoteric science of molecular biological laboratories. The rising genetic paradigm is influencing how we think about life, including disease and disability, human capacities and failings, social problems, kinship and the quality of life.

This is the first volume to draw together a range of sociological perspectives on the new genetics. The chapters are organized around three key themes:

How genetic knowledge is produced and structured, including professional perspectives and public images;

The role of genetic counselling and lay perspectives on social meanings of genetics;

The impact and implications of the new genetics for society.

The nine papers demonstrate the social context of genetics and provide an important reminder that issues around genetics are not limited to genetic disorders or identified genetic susceptibilities, but rather the new genetics is likely to affect all of us.
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Introduction: Sociological Perspectives on The New Genetics: An Overview: Peter Conrad and Jonathan Gabe.

Part I: Structure and Production of Genetic Knowledge:.

1. Genes as Drugs: The Social Shaping of Gene Therapy and The Reconstruction of Genetic Disease: Paul Martin.

2. Experts as ′Storytellers′ In Reproductive Genetics: Exploring Key Issues: Elizabeth Ettorre.

3. The Human Drama of Genetics: ′Hard′ and ′Soft′ Media Representations of Inherited Breast Cancer: Lesley Henderson and Jenny Kitzinger.

Part II: The Social Meanings of Genetics:.

4. Waiting For The Cure: Mapping The Social Relations of Human Gene Therapy Research: Alan Stockdale.

5. Doing The Right Thing: Genetic Risk and Responsibility: Nina Hallowell.

6. There′s This Thing In Our Family: Predictive Testing and The Construction of Risk For Huntington Disease: Susan Cox and William Mckellin.

Part III: The Social Impact and Implications of Genetics:.

7. Defining The ′Social′: Towards An Understanding of Scientific and Medical Discourses on The Social Aspects of The New Human Genetics: Sarah Cunningham–Burley and Anne Kerr.

8. Losing The Plot? Medical and Activist Discourses of The Contemporary Genetics and Disability: Tom Shakespeare.

9. DNA Identification and Surveillance Creep: Dorothy Nelkin and Lori Andrews.

Notes on Contributors.

Index.

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Peter Conrad
Jonathan Gabe
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