Blood Ties and the Immunitary Bioeconomy

  • Nik Brown


Blood is the classic context for an elaboration of the structural tensions between the market and the welfare state, the individual and the collective, the immunitary and the communitary. The giving of blood has become established as a measure of cohesive civility. And yet, blood has also become an index of societal fragility in the face of changing political and economic dynamics. This chapter explores more recent activity in the worlds of umbilical cord blood banking. Since the early 1990s there have been numerous international initiatives to source and bank cord blood (CB) stem cells. Most ‘public’ banks operate within a traditionally established moral discourse structured around donation. On the other hand, commercial stem cell banks offer a means of personally storing and preserving cord blood (or less commonly, menstrual blood) for private and personal use.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nik Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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