Publication details

Imaginace genů. Sociologická perspektiva

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Title in English Imagination of genes. Sociological perspective


Year of publication 2014
Type Monograph
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description The text Imagination of Genes – A Sociological Perspective is a sociological and anthropological conceptualisation of the themes of DNA and genomic cultural imagination. The text examines the main analytical perspectives on the connections between DNA and ethnically-described spheres of belonging. Taking advantage of critical social theory, this book examines the complementarity of sameness and difference in the production of knowledge within the interpretation of various imaginations of DNA, genom and the body. The concept of life itself and concept of biopolitics, as elaborated by Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, or Thomas Lemke, are crucial for our analysis of this “genomic age”. A historical example of a special type of biopolitical governmentality linked to racist ideology is that of Nazi society. The current emergence of the idea of race, a new eugenics, is critically analysed within the broader field of contemporary forms of biopower: questions of race, reproductive medicine and genomics as described by Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose in their text Biopower Today. Special attention is paid to recovering the idea of race and eugenics. Various representations of genetized human identity presented in popular discourse, such as genetic banks, samples of biological tissues or genographies, refer to the cultural imagination of genomic and DNA research interconnected with notions of nationality and ethnicity. In this context the film documentary Journey of Man – A Genetic Odyssey is explored. In general the book addresses the social and cultural consequences of the use of words and images related to the idea of “origin”, “homelands” and imagination of the body for the construction of national core-group or national solidarity. The crucial arguments of the book take on representations of DNA, the human genom and efforts towards the genetic legitimization of ethnic or national borderlines in the 21st century.
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