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Genetic testing and human subjectivity

Arribas-Ayllon, Michael ORCID: 2015. Genetic testing and human subjectivity. Social and Personality Psychology Compass 9 (6) , pp. 213-224. 10.1111/spc3.12174

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This article offers a brief overview of how methods of DNA testing are reframing what it means to be a living being in a living world. It is no longer the case that genetic technologies objectify life in such a way as to deny something essential to human subjectivity. The style of reasoning of the life sciences today is characterised by complexity, dynamism and emergence. This requires rethinking the relationship between technology, society and subjectivity. Genetic testing is a social and symbolic practice through which notions of identity and relatedness are reconfigured in terms of being genetically at risk. Far from reducing subjectivity to one's biological destiny, genetic technologies have consequences in terms of not only governing others to govern their risk wisely, but also aligning conduct with Western liberal values of autonomy, responsibility and choice. New pastors and gatekeepers of genetic information have assembled around these technologies where psychology plays a key role in facilitating autonomy and instilling a sense of genetic responsibility. Nevertheless, the increasing capitalization of genomics is moving genetic testing beyond these clinical enclosures of control into the domain of consumer choice, creating new forms of subjectification, citizenship and community.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1751-9004
Date of Acceptance: 23 February 2015
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:13

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