The genealogical model has a long-standing history in Western thought. The contributors to this volume consider the ways in which assumptions about the genealogical model-in particular, ideas concerning sequence, essence, and transmission-structure other modes of practice and knowledge-making in domains well beyond what is normally labeled 'kinship.' The detailed ethnographic work and analysis included in this text explores how these assumptions have been built into our understandings of race, personhood, ethnicity, property relations, and the relationship between human beings and non-human species. The authors explore the influences of the genealogical model of kinship in wider social theory and examine anthropology's ability to provide a unique framework capable of bridging the 'social' and 'natural' sciences. In doing so, this volume brings fresh new perspectives to bear on contemporary theories concerning biotechnology and its effect upon social life.
About the Author
Sandra Bamford is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on Papua New Guinea and the West, with an emphasis on kinship, gender, landscape, environmentalism, globalization, and biotechnology. In addition to having authored several journal articles and book chapters, her most recent publications include: Biology Unmoored: Melanesian Reflections on Life and Biotechnology (University of California Press, 2006) and Embodying Modernity and Postmodernity: Ritual, Praxis and Social Change in Melanesia (Carolina Academic Press, 2007). James Leach is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He has undertaken long-term field research in rural Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, and in the UK with people utilising new technologies for collaborative knowledge production. Published work includes Creative Land: Place and Procreation on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea (Berghahn Books, 2003), Rationales of Ownership: Transactions and Claims to Ownership in Contemporary Papua New Guinea (ed., with Lawrence Kalinoe, Sean Kingston Publishing, 2004), and "Freedom Imagined: Morality and Aesthetics in Open Source Software Design" (Ethnos 2009).