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The Genomic Imaginary: Genealogical Heritage and the Shaping of Bioconvergent Identities

Anne-Marie Kramer


In the twenty-first century, the advent of biomedicine has seen genealogy become geneticized, technologized and commodified. Critiquing the epistemological claims of genetic genealogy and the uses to which genetic genealogy is put, this article traces the revelatory, affective and performative aspects of genetic genealogy as mediated spectacle. It explores how, and with what consequences, genetic genealogy reconfigures kinship in technologized form, reproducing familiar social classifications and taxonomies of 'race' alongside bioconvergent identities and subjectivities, on the basis of the significance of heritage for individual and collective identifications. Finally, it theorises bioconvergence as a process based on competing yet interdependent truth-claims, creating subject positions, identities and communities, which subsume the socio-cultural into the biological.


genetic genealogy; media genomics; bioconvergence; identities; kinship; Who Do You Think You Are?

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