Asian Biotech: Ethics and Communities of Fate

Asian Biotech: Ethics and Communities of Fate

Paperback Experimental Futures: Technological Lives, Scientific Arts, Anthropological Voices (Paperback)

By (author) Aihwa Ong, Edited by Nancy N. Chen

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  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 23mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 8 November 2010
  • Publication City/Country: North Carolina
  • ISBN 10: 0822348098
  • ISBN 13: 9780822348092
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: 3 illustrations
  • Sales rank: 596,102

Product description

Providing the first overview of Asia's emerging biosciences landscape, this timely and important collection brings together ethnographic case studies on biotech endeavours such as genetically modified foods in China, clinical trials in India, and stem cell research in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. While biotech policies and projects vary by country, the contributors identify a significant trend toward state entrepreneurialism in biotechnology and they highlight the ways that political thinking and ethical reasoning are converging around the biosciences. As ascendant nations in a region of postcolonial emergence with an "uncanny surplus" in population and pandemics, Asian countries treat their populations as sources of opportunity and risk. Biotech enterprises are allied to efforts to overcome past humiliations and restore national identity and political ambition, and they are legitimized as solutions to national anxieties about food supplies, diseases, epidemics and unknown biological crises in the future. Biotechnological responses to perceived risks stir deep feelings about shared fate and they crystallise new ethical configurations, often re-inscribing traditional beliefs about ethnicity, nation and race. As many of the essays in this collection illustrate, state involvement in biotech initiatives is driving the emergence of "bio-sovereignty," an increasing pressure for state control over biological resources, commercial health products, corporate behaviour and genetic based-identities. Asian Biotech offers much-needed analysis of the interplay among biotechnologies, economic growth, bio-security and ethical practices in Asia. Contributors; Vincanne Adams; Nancy N. Chen; Stefan Ecks; Kathleen Erwin; Phuoc Van Le; Jennifer Liu; Aihwa Ong; Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner; Kaushik Sunder Rajan; Wen-Ching Sung; Charis Thompson; Ara Wilson

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Author information

Aihwa Ong is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of "Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty" and "Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality," both also published by Duke University Press.Nancy N. Chen is Professor of Anthropology at Scripps College. She is the author of "Food, Medicine, and the Quest for Good Health "and "Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China."

Review quote

"This exciting collection of ethnographic essays introduces readers to the deployment of specific biotechnologies in Asia, revealing their enmeshment with local and global politics and a situated ethics that extends to the good of families, communities, and nations, and not merely that of individuals. This book, harbinger of impending futures, demands introspection." Margaret Lock, author of Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death "This is the first broad anthropological examination of the biotech movement across Asia. Especially useful are the efforts at understanding how biotechnology affects (and is affected by) major changes in moral experience and ethical imagination that are roiling Asian modernities. A path breaking exploration! This collection will be influential." Arthur Kleinman, Director, Asia Center, Harvard University "The need in science studies and anthropology for Asian Biotech would be hard to overstate. I was hungry for this book to use in my own teaching and writing, and the meal is as satisfying as I had anticipated. The theoretical framing is astute and generative, and the well-argued and diverse essays are thoroughly fleshed out historically and ethnographically. Nancy N. Chen, Aihwa Ong, and the contributors deserve our thanks. We have just run out of excuses for ongoing Western parochialism in science and technology studies and all of our kindred inquiries into biotechnology."oDonna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

Back cover copy

"The need in science studies and anthropology for "Asian Biotech" would be hard to overstate. I was hungry for this book to use in my own teaching and writing, and the meal is as satisfying as I had anticipated. The theoretical framing is astute and generative, and the well-argued and diverse essays are thoroughly fleshed out historically and ethnographically. Nancy N. Chen, Aihwa Ong, and the contributors deserve our thanks. We have just run out of excuses for ongoing Western parochialism in science and technology studies and all of our kindred inquiries into biotechnology."--Donna Haraway, author of "When Species Meet"

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: An Analytics of Ethics and Biotechnology in Global Space / Aihwa Ong Part I. Excess and Opportunity The Experimental Machinery of Global Clinical Trials: Case Studies from India / Kaushik Sunder Rajan; Feeding the Nation: Chinese Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Foods / Nancy N. Chen Part II. Bioventures Asian Regeneration? Nationalism and Internationalism in Stem Cell Research in South Korea and Singapore / Charis Thompson; Medical Tourism in Thailand / Ara Wilson; Near-Liberalism: Global Corporate Citizenship and Pharmaceutical Marketing in India / Stefan Ecks Part III. Communities of Fate Governing through Blood: Biology, Donation, and Exchange in Urban China / Vincanne Adams, Kathleen Erwin, and Phouc V. Le; Lifelines: The Ethics of Blood Banking for Family and Beyond / Aihwa Ong; Embryo Controversies and Governing Stem Cell Research in Japan: How to Regulate Regenerative Futures / Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner Part IV. Biosovereignty: Mappings of Chineseness Making Taiwanese (Stem Cells): Identity, Genetics, and Hybridity / Jennifer A. Liu; Chinese DNA: Genomics and Bionation / Wen-ching Sung Afterword / Nancy N. Chen Bibliography; Contributors; Index