Negotiating Risk: British Pakistani Experiences of Genetics

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Berghahn Books, 2009 - Medical - 283 pages
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Drawing on fieldwork with British Pakistani clients of a UK genetics service, this book explores the personal and social implications of a 'genetic diagnosis'. Through case material and comparative discussion, the book identifies practical ethical dilemmas raised by new genetic knowledge and shows how, while being shaped by culture, these issues also cross-cut differences of culture, religion and ethnicity. The book also demonstrates how identifying a population-level elevated 'risk' of genetic disorders in an ethnic minority population can reinforce existing social divisions and cultural stereotypes. The book addresses questions about the relationship between genetic risk and clinical practice that will be relevant to health workers and policy makers.

 

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Contents

Exploring genetic risk
1
Medical and public perceptions of consanguineous marriage and genetic risk
37
Close kin marriages some anthropological theory and European history
63
British Pakistani cousin marriages balancing marital risks
89
Medical surveillance and diagnostic uncertainty III
111
Responding to reproductive risk
139
Foretelling and managing infant death
167
Genetic screening and the extended family
201
Genetic risk in context
229
Bibliography
253
Index
275
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About the author (2009)

Alison Shaw is Senior Research Fellow at the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, having taught at Brunel (1997-2004), London and Oxford Brookes universities. Her research interests include medical anthropology, ethnicity, kinship and social aspects of genetics. Her books include Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani families in Britain (Routledge 2000); A Pakistani Community in Britain (Blackwell 1888); and Changing Sex and Bending Gender (Berghahn 2005), edited with Shirley Ardener.

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