A proliferation of press headlines, social science texts and ethicalA" concerns about the social implications of recent developments in human genetics and biomedicine have created a sense that, at least in European and American contexts, both the way we treat the human body and our attitudes towards it have changed. This volume asks what really happens to social relations in the face of new types of transaction - such as organ donation, forensic identification and other new medical and reproductive technologies - that involve the use of corporeal material. Drawing on comparative insights into how human biological material is treated, it aims to consider how far human bodies and their components are themselves inherently social.A" The case studies - ranging from animal-human transformations in Amazonia to forensic reconstruction in post-conflict Serbia and the treatment of Native American specimens in English museums - all underline that, without social relations, there are no bodies but only human remains.A" The volume gives us new and striking ethnographic insights into bodies as sociality, as well as a potentially powerful analytical reconsideration of notions of embodiment.
It makes a novel contribution, too, to science and societyA" debates.
Helen Lambert is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine, Bristol University and formerly taught at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She studied social anthropology at Oxford University and has done fieldwork in India and the UK. Her research interests include medical anthropology, gender and relatedness in South Asia, public health and notions of evidence. She has numerous publications in the anthropology of India and medical anthropology; her most recent project was a Special Issue of Social Science and Medicine (2006) offering anthropological analyses of evidence-based health care. Maryon McDonald studied social anthropology at Oxford University and became Reader at Brunel University. Since 1997 she has been Fellow in Social Anthropology at Robinson College, Cambridge. Her research interests include nationalism, medical anthropology, the EU and questions of accountability; her fieldwork has been conducted in France, in EU institutions, and in the UK. She has published widely on questions of identity, addiction and health, the anthropology of the EU and is editor of Languages of Accountability (Berghahn, forthcoming). She is currently engaged in a large Leverhulme-funded project examining changing perceptions of the body.A"
Introduction Helen Lambert and Maryon McDonald Chapter 1. Aged Bodies and Kinship Matters: The Ethical Field of Kidney Transplant Sharon R. Kaufman, Ann J. Russ and Janet K. Shim Chapter 2. Anatomizing Conflict - Accommodating Human Remains Maja Petrovic-Steger Chapter 3. On the Treatment of Dead Enemies: Indigenous Human Remains in Britain in the Early Twenty-first Century Laura Peers Chapter 4. Towards a Critical A-tziography: Inventing Prehistoric Bodies John Robb Chapter 5. Bodies in Perspective: A Critique of the Embodiment Paradigm from the Point of View of Amazonian Ethnography Aparecida Vilaca Chapter 6. Using Bodies to Communicate Marilyn Strathern Notes on Contributors Index