Global Trafficking in Bodies

Gary Alan Fine and Bill Ellis

in The Global Grapevine

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736317
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866458 | DOI:
Global Trafficking in Bodies

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Rumors about the theft of human body parts have enormous symbolic potency. Residents of third‐world countries realize that industrial nations exploit their resources and labor. In a world where human tissue also has monetary value, a black market in organs for transplant is plausible, and the kidnapping of babies and children for their organs is a genuine fear. Rumors about the kidney thefts have circulated in Western countries, but the third‐world analogs are distinctive, focusing on agents of the wealthy who travel in distinctive vehicles. These stories express genuine rage over the futures of children taken away for adoption by agents of the rich or left vulnerable by government indifference. Such rhetorical “weapons of the weak” can effectively protest against dominant political structures, but they also lead to mob action that can kill or seriously injure innocent tourists from industrial nations.

Keywords: bodies; kidneys; kidnapping; third‐world rumors; weapons of the weak

Chapter.  9935 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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