Genetic Geographies: The Trouble with Ancestry (Hardback)Catherine Nash (author)
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What might be wrong with genetic accounts of personal or shared ancestry and origins? Genetic studies are often presented as valuable ways of understanding where we come from and how people are related. In Genetic Geographies, Catherine Nash pursues their troubling implications for our perception of sexual and national, as well as racial, difference.
Bringing an incisive geographical focus to bear on new genetic histories and genetic genealogy, Nash explores the making of ideas of genetic ancestry, indigeneity, and origins; the global human family; and national genetic heritage. In particular, she engages with the science, culture, and commerce of ancestry in the United States and the United Kingdom, including National Geographic's Genographic Project and the People of the British Isles project. Tracing the tensions and contradictions between the emphasis on human genetic similarity and shared ancestry, and the attention given to distinctive patterns of relatedness and different ancestral origins, Nash challenges the assumption that the concepts of shared ancestry are necessarily progressive. She extends this scrutiny to claims about the "natural" differences between the sexes and the "nature" of reproduction in studies of the geography of human genetic variation.
Through its focus on sex, nation, and race, and its novel spatial lens, Genetic Geographies provides a timely critical guide to what happens when genetic science maps relatedness.
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 25 mm
"An important contribution to the growing body of social science critiques of human population genetics."
-Peter Wade, coeditor of Mestizo Genomics: Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America
"Excellent as a baseline study of ancestry and genealogy and, most importantly, addresses the misconceptions that have so long dominated race and ancestry."-CHOICE
"The most original contribution of Genetic Geographies is found in Nash's reading of the assumptions about sex, sexuality, and reproduction on which anthropological genetics builds its historical tales. Nash explores in vivid detail how the assertion of fundamental sex differences is essential to interpreting the genetic data."-Bulletin of the History of Medicine
"This is an important read - for anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, and STS scholars, students and academics alike. It is written in an accessible and engaging style that also reaches out to audiences beyond the social sciences."-Anthropos
"Genetic Geographies illuminates how genetics are understood scientifically, politically, socially, and historically. Moreover, Nash reveals that while information can be gained through exploring genetic geographies, interpretations are inevitably shaped by current social, cultural, and political ideologies and perspective."-New Genetics and Society