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Road-maps and revelations: on the somatic ethics of genetic susceptibility

Groves, Christopher Robert 2013. Road-maps and revelations: on the somatic ethics of genetic susceptibility. New Genetics and Society 32 (3) , pp. 264-284. 10.1080/14636778.2013.781424

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Understanding genomic susceptibility risk has been represented as key to a new era of personalized medicine, in which “empowered” individuals shape their lives according to a “somatic ethics” of genetic risk management. Based on a comprehensive analysis of websites and other documents produced by key companies within the personal genomics industry, I argue that the rhetoric of empowerment these companies employ constructs an “ideal subject” of personal genomics while also expressing tensions implicit within the idea of a somatic ethics based on genetic susceptibility. Using Kaushik Sunder Rajan's concept of “genomic fetishism,” I show how these tensions arise from the relationship the rhetoric of personal genomics constructs between risk and uncertainty, and relate them to broader tensions within “risk thinking” as a mode of governmentality that extends beyond genomics.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1463-6778
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2017 09:30

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