Conclusion Beyond Reductionism: <i>Bioethnicity and the Genetics of Inequality</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:
Conclusion Beyond Reductionism: Bioethnicity and the Genetics of Inequality

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This chapter reviews the use of racialized population DNA in diabetes research and evaluates the broader social consequences of complex disease research in the postgenomic era. The diabetes enterprise differs only in the level and ontological framework of its exploitation. “Bioethnicity” is a term that accurately expresses how the class of a racialized thing produced within biomedical discourse is a sociocultural conception. Having sampled Mexicanas/os for the diabetes genetic epidemiological enterprise, Mexicana/o ethnicity is conscripted into the capital-intensive research apparatus. The U.S.–Mexico border story shows the ways frontiers are created through racializations, the movement of people, and the material and semiotic embodiments that sometimes counter and at other reinforce interethnic conflict. The genetics of diabetes susceptibility among Mexicanas/os and other disadvantaged groups must be understood, at least for now, as genetic differences made meaningful by social, historical, and political processes that affect unevenly distributed rates of disease.

Keywords: bioethnicity; diabetes; DNA; U.S.–Mexico border; racializations; genetics

Chapter.  4529 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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