Biology Unmooredis an engaging examination of what it means to live in a world that is not structured in terms of biological thinking. Drawing upon three years of ethnographic research in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Sandra Bamford describes a world in which physiological reproduction is not perceived to ground human kinship or human beings' relationship to the organic world. Bamford also exposes the ways in which Western ideas about relatedness do depend on a notion of physiological reproduction. Her innovative analysis includes a discussion of the advent of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), the mapping of the human genome, cloning, the commodification of biodiversity, and the manufacture and sale of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Sandra Bamfordis Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. She is the editor ofEmbodying ModernityandPostmodernity: Ritual, Praxis and Social Change in Melanesia,and coeditor ofGenealogyBeyond Kinship: Sequence, Transmission and Essence in Ethnography and Social Theory.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Conceptual Frameworks
1. Cultural Landscapes
2. Insubstantial Identities
3. Embodiments of Detachment
4. (Im)Mortal Undertakings
5. Conceiving Global Identities
Conclusion: Conceptual Displacements
Bamford dares to venture into new terrains. In considering the way in which the social and natural sciences co-figure one another, she lays firm ground for investigating some of the implications of the way Euro-Americans model the world through their biological understandings of life. Biology Unmoored is a huge leap forward. Marilyn Strathern, author ofKinship, Law, and the Unexpected: Relatives Are Always a Surprise
A startling and riveting work. Bamfords analysis raises our awareness of the implicitlCò