Genes and Disease on the U.S.-Mexico Borderx: <i>The Science of State Formation in Diabetes Research</i>

Michael J. Montoya

in Making the Mexican Diabetic

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267305
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949003 | DOI:
Genes and Disease on the U.S.-Mexico Borderx: The Science of State Formation in Diabetes Research

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This chapter characterizes the complex data-gathering research practices in El Camino and the meaning systems which Carl and his field staff use to explain their work, arguing that the social relations of DNA sampling along the border discursively configure Mexican American bodies as biologically predisposed to diabetes. Moreover, it illustrates the ways Mexicana/o and Anglo alike are rendered hybrid subjects whose ethnicity is flexibly affixed to meet the scientific requirements of the enterprise and the sociopolitical patterns of identity in Sun County. The complexity of the work at the center—the blood work, retinography, echos, electrocardiograms, glucose, body-mass measurements, and more—are designed to capture biological data on Mexicana/o bodies along the border. It is noted that diabetes is strongly linked with the national political and economic transformations on the border, transformations which themselves reflect new regimes of labor control and the deployment of new technologies.

Keywords: diabetes; El Camino; DNA sampling; Mexican American; ethnicity; Sun County; labor control; deployment

Chapter.  8875 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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