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Tissue Economies: Blood, Organs, and Cell Lines in Late Capitalism (Science and Cultural Theory)

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ISBN-13: 978-0822337706
ISBN-10: 0822337703
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Tissue Economies: Blood, Organs, and Cell Lines in Late Capitalism (Science and Cultural Theory) + Clinical Labor: Tissue Donors and Research Subjects in the Global Bioeconomy (Experimental Futures)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Tissue Economies asks us to think about biological materials as inseparable from the networks of exchange, gift, and excess that condition their value to us. Catherine Waldby and Robert Mitchell show us a new body politic, one in which the organs, tissues, and fluids exist as much outside of and between bodies as they do within them.”—Eugene Thacker, author of The Global Genome: Biotechnology, Politics, and Culture


“Catherine Waldby and Robert Mitchell demonstrate just how shaky are some of the structures underpinning the global politics of human tissue, such as the distinction between gift and commodity, when in late capitalism even tissue originally given altruistically is used as an open source of free tissue for commercial use on a worldwide scale. Yet they refuse the temptation of easy cynicism, asking what better models we can use instead to protect ourselves in the global tissue economy. This is an imaginative, up-to-date, and politically astute book.”—Donna Dickenson, author of Risk and Luck in Medical Ethics


“Catherine Waldby and Robert Mitchell offer a comprehensive analysis of key types of tissue transfer, tracing the networks within which human tissues circulate as waste, gift, and commodity. From their innovative exploration of the way the principle of informed consent has functioned to enable the commodification of tissue products, to their demonstration that conventional frameworks are inadequate for an understanding of contemporary practices of tissue trading, this book is an essential and eye-opening read.”—Susan Merrill Squier, author of Liminal Lives: Imagining the Human at the Frontiers of Biomedicine


“[A] rich and balanced account of the ethical and social implications of tissue transfer and the networks in which such transfers occur. Tissue Economies is a powerful example of the contribution that social science and humanities perspectives can bring to contemporary medical practices. . . . This book will be of interest to the health policy and medical professions for its clarity, comparative case-study approach, and ability to demonstrate, case by case, the inadequacy of the gift/commodity dichotomy.”
(Laura Mamo, Journal of the American Medical Association)

“[T]he book offers a wealth of knowledge in relation to biotechnology’s role in contemporary human tissue economies. More than this, by revealing the ways in which advances in biotechnology and biocommunication unfold in and through transforming social institutions (such as public bureaucracies and commercial enterprise, child-bearing, aging, health and welfare systems) Tissue Economies discloses how we are all implicated in the dense webs of meanings, judgments, hopes, and fears that contemporary tissue economies trade on.”
(Ruth McManus, American Journal of Sociology)

About the Author

Catherine Waldby teaches medical sociology at the University of New South Wales. She is the author of The Visible Human Project: Informatic Bodies and Posthuman Medicine and AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference.

Robert Mitchell is Assistant Professor of English at Duke University. He is a coeditor of Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information and Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body.

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Product Details

  • Series: Science and Cultural Theory
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (March 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822337703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822337706
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lumi on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book offers a highly interesting presentation and analysis of the ways tissues are handled, sold, used and conceptualized. For example blood, umbilical cord blood, cell lines and organs are discussed. Tissue Economies does not only describe the use of these tissues, but has also analytical discussions of biovalue, waste and information. Also the meaning of gift is discussed.

The economies of tissues are global questions that are intertwined in many different phenomena. Even nationality and selfhood are at stakes in these interactions.

I recommend this book to students of biosciences, women's studies and sociology. Reading Tissue Economies requires some background knowledge, but is not a difficult read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find this book's strongest asset to be the historical discussions of blood banking systems and waste tissue lawsuits in the US and UK. The book outlines where the lines are drawn between flesh and cash: what tissues can be sold, which only gifted, and how else are they entangled? Donation, waste, banking, pools . . . toxic assets, etc.

If you love mixed metaphors, surgical theatres and social policy, this one is for you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good book. Purchased this book to finish a paper I was writing it give me some good insight on the international bio banking.
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