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  • Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship

    Author(s): Sarah B. Franklin
    Published: 2013
    Pages: 376
    Illustrations: 30 illustrations, 1 table
    Series: Experimental Futures
  • Paperback: $26.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5499-4
  • Cloth: $94.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5485-7
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  • Acknowledgments  ix
    Introduction. Relatively Biological  1
    1. Miracle Babies  31
    2. Living Tools  68
    3. Embryo Pioneers  102
    4. Reproductive Technologies  150
    5. Living IVF  185
    6. IVF Live  221
    7. Frontier Culture  258
    8. After IVF  297
    Afterword  311
    Notes  313
    References  333
    Index  351
  • "A model of what interdisciplinary intelligence can accomplish. Across several fields Biological Relatives shows how specific platforms or tools in the history of reproduction, kinship, and gender have provided discursive liftoff for further sites of knowledge and exploration. One of the strengths of this gripping account lies in that specificity, beginning with the iconic IVF and its epistemic work: a brilliant and exhilarating reprise of what we thought we knew, but now know differently."—Marilyn Strathern, University of Cambridge —

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  • Description

    Thirty-five years after its initial success as a form of technologically assisted human reproduction, and five million miracle babies later, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a routine procedure worldwide. In Biological Relatives, Sarah Franklin explores how the normalization of IVF has changed how both technology and biology are understood. Drawing on anthropology, feminist theory, and science studies, Franklin charts the evolution of IVF from an experimental research technique into a global technological platform used for a wide variety of applications, including genetic diagnosis, livestock breeding, cloning, and stem cell research. She contends that despite its ubiquity, IVF remains a highly paradoxical technology that confirms the relative and contingent nature of biology while creating new biological relatives. Using IVF as a lens, Franklin presents a bold and lucid thesis linking technologies of gender and sex to reproductive biomedicine, contemporary bioinnovation, and the future of kinship.

    About The Author(s)

    Sarah Franklin holds the Professorship in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Dolly Mixtures: The Remaking of Genealogy and coeditor (with Susan McKinnon) of Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies, both also published by Duke University Press.

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