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Accepted Paper:

Individual and national crises: management of inherited blood disorders in the Sultanate of Oman  
Claire Beaudevin (CNRS, Cermes3)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

This paper is based on an ethnographic research conducted in Oman and focused on inherited blood disorders (sickle-cell, thalassemia), which can be examined through two "crisis levels": individual, since sickle-cell is a chronic condition punctuated by painful seizures; and national, since the growing part of inherited disorders within the death causes is a challenge for a system focused on primary health care. The management of these chronic genetic diseases in Oman has led to the use of new diagnostic (screening, sequencing) and treatment (exchange transfusions, iron chelators) methods. Besides, these disorders are tackled by the government's biopolitics as a crisis which has to be solved, including by controlling the citizens' bodies: scrutinizing matrimonial behaviours; planning mandatory premarital genetic testing. Recent use of genetic technologies to search for heterozygous individuals creates new abnormality categories within the — historically very complicatedly stratified — Omani population. This "disruption" leads to unusual forms of biosociality.

Panel IW006
Medical knowledge, health, crises, and processes of diversification
  Session 1