Bioethnic Conscription

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:
Bioethnic Conscription

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This chapter tries to demonstrate how genetic epidemiologists are required to overtly position their knowledge within the sociohistorical context of its production, and advances the concept of bioethnic conscription as the process by which ethnicity comes to be constructed as meaningful for scientific research. It explores how concepts of race and ethnicity appear in genetics research and in the process of scientific publication and the marketing of pharmaceutical products, and how the ideological fault-lines between genes/environment, biology/society, and race/ethnicity are revealed. The chapter starts by summarizing the origins of the notion of genetic susceptibility to diabetes in ethnic groups and compares them with the environmental causation narratives for health disparities between ethnic groups. Diabetes is a profoundly social condition for Sun County residents. The deployment of racial labels and symbols within the diabetes research-and-development apparatus shapes the political context of their production. Single nucleotide polymorphism-based research does not create biological race.

Keywords: bioethnic conscription; ethnicity; race; pharmaceutical products; genetic susceptibility; diabetes; Sun County; single nucleotide polymorphism

Chapter.  8503 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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