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Disrupted Boundaries: New Reproductive Technologies and the Language of Anxiety and Expectation

Bloomfield, Brian and Vurdubakis, Theodore (1995) Disrupted Boundaries: New Reproductive Technologies and the Language of Anxiety and Expectation. Social Studies of Science, 25 (3). pp. 533-551. ISSN 0306-3127

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Abstract

In this Comment, we elaborate upon Mulkay's discussion of the rhetorics of hope and fear in the UK debate over research on human embryos, by focusing on the narrative strategies and cultural presuppositions that allow certain technological developments to be (re)presented as `hopeful' or `fearsome'. We argue that boundary talk and its associated vocabularies of purity and pollution provide Mulkay's rhetorics with a semantic construction kit. They are the means through which `hope' and `fear', as rhetorical effects, are achieved. Finally, we discuss the wider significance that could be attributed to these discursive moves - that is, as pointers to how the relationship of a culture to its technologies is constituted.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Social Studies of Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Lancaster University Management School > Organisation, Work & Technology
ID Code: 55456
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 28 Jun 2012 10:04
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 23:42
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/55456

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