, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 319-322
Date: 10 Mar 2012

Karen-Sue Taussig: Ordinary Genomes: Science, Citizenship and Genetic Identities

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Of the many contexts in which one might research the social significance of biological and biomedical knowledge and technologies, the contemporary landscape of national identities and cultures is perhaps the most challenging and the least documented. Historians of science have crafted penetrating analyses of how science and technology have and have been shaped by the politics, economics and specific social systems of European nation states, particularly France, Great Britain, Germany and of course the United States. Such analyses become more difficult and controversial when tackling contemporary national contexts, with their volatile politics, diverse social constituencies, complex international relations and ever-shifting layering of power and class.

Few scholars have dared to confront the nation as a unit of analysis in the social studies of science and technology, and those who did—like, most recently, Jasanoff (2005)—had to bear the brunt of critique from all corners of the humaniti ...