THE DOUBLE (H)ELIXIR OF LIFE: GENETIC CITIZENSHIP AND BELONGING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

  • Deepti Thakur Indian Institute of Advanced Study

Abstract

This is the age of ‘genetic citizenship’ with the making of a genetic panopticon (Heath et al 2004: 165) in the form of Genographic Projects and genetic databasing. It is also the age of personal genomics. Two recent developments in genetic citizenship frame this essay. First, the rise of private genome sequencing companies such as MapMyGenome in India and the huge success of Ancestry.com and 23AndMe abroad. Such companies provide ‘genome patris’ for a fee (Rs 25, 000/-). Second, a recently published research report that declared case barriers and hardening of caste as genomic identity  is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating back to  about 1500 years ago. What genome mapping means for identity, self-definition, kinship and belonging is the subject of much research, particularly in the case of Aboriginal and First Nation peoples. This particular essay examines the issue of belonging along two specific axes both involving genetic databasing: the horizontal one of community and the vertical one of ancestry

Published
2018-03-21
How to Cite
THAKUR, Deepti. THE DOUBLE (H)ELIXIR OF LIFE: GENETIC CITIZENSHIP AND BELONGING IN THE 21ST CENTURY. Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 22, n. 1, p. 1-11, mar. 2018. ISSN 0972-1401. Available at: <http://iias.ac.in/ojs/index.php/shss/article/view/104>. Date accessed: 23 apr. 2018.