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Life, science, and biopower

Raman, Sujatha and Tutton, Richard (2010) Life, science, and biopower. Science Technology and Human Values, 35 (5). pp. 711-734. ISSN 0162-2439

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Abstract

This article critically engages with the influential theory of "molecularized biopower'' and "politics of life'' developed by Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose. Molecularization is assumed to signal the end of population-centred biopolitics and the disciplining of subjects as described by Foucault, and the rise of newforms of biosociality and biological citizenship. Drawing on empirical work in Science and Technology Studies (STS), we argue that this account is limited by a focus on novelty and assumptions about the transformative power of the genetic life sciences. We suggest that biopower consists of a more complex cluster of relationships between the molecular and the population. The biological existence of different human beings is politicized through different complementary and competing discourses around medical therapies, choices at the beginning and end of life, public health, environment, migration and border controls, implying a multiple rather than a singular politics of life.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Science Technology and Human Values
Uncontrolled Keywords: biopower ; biopolitics ; life sciences ; politics of life ; molecular politics ; POLITICS ; MOLECULARIZATION ; BIOPOLITICS ; EUGENICS ; GENETICS ; HEALTH ; RIGHTS ; CELLS ; RISK ; UK
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 51387
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 24 Nov 2011 09:39
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 08:28
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/51387

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