Accepted Paper:

The 'bio-social' dynamics of breast cancer genetics: comparisons between the UK and Cuba  


Sahra Gibbon (University College London (UCL))

Paper short abstract:

This paper draws on comparative research undertaken in the UK and Cuba examining developments in breast cancer genetics. It outlines the points of continuity and discontinuity in the way that biology, sociality and identity are aligned and put to work in these contrasting arenas.

Paper long abstract:

It is becoming increasingly clear that there are important differences in the space and shape of the 'biosocialities' in and between national and trans-national arenas. These differences relate, in part, to the scope (and limits) of technological intervention, the organisation of state health care or research resources, the presence (or absence) of a culture of health care activism and the specific history and character citizenship. Drawing from past and current research in the UK and Cuba this paper presents a comparative perspective on the dynamics between biology and sociality in relation to the field of 'breast cancer genetics'. Focusing on the pursuit, use and application of genetic knowledge and technology linked to breast cancer, the paper critically examines the continuities and discontinuities between these two national contexts. It shows how understanding these differences have consequences for theorizing and conceptualizing the meeting point between genomics, identity and citizenship.

Panel IW02
Rethinking the body: biotechnology and sociality