Modalities of value, exchange, solidarity: the social life of stem cells in China

Rosemann, Achim (2011) Modalities of value, exchange, solidarity: the social life of stem cells in China. New Genetics and Society, 30 (2). pp. 181-192. ISSN 1463-6778

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Abstract

The donation of embryos for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research is commonly framed as an act of solidarity, exemplifying a selfless expression of help from present-day citizens for public health improvements in the future. As I will show at the case of hESC research in the People's Republic of China, however, such discourse conceals the complexities of contemporary stem cell distribution and exchange systems, as well as the concrete forms of value and benefit that the derivation, use and circulation of these tissues has for user communities already in the here and now. While it is clear that the medical, scientific and commercial hopes of hESC research have not yet materialized, I will show that the current regulatory approach of hESC line distribution in China enables the usage of these materials as a resource of power that can be used strategically for the accrual of various forms of influence and value.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: hESC research, embryo donation, biovalue, open source biology, regenerative medicine
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
K Law
Q Science
R Medicine
Depositing User: Achim Rosemann
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2015 09:08
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 07:39
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53211

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
International science and bioethics collaborations: critical approaches to new knowledge relationsR5J2ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCILRG46074