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Transgenic silences: The rhetoric of comparisons and transgenic mice as 'ordinary treasures'
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research. (Humanimal group)
Malmö högskola.
2009 (English)In: BioSocieties, ISSN 1745-8552, Vol. 4, no 2-3, 165-181 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses how people who handle transgenic animals in practice – laboratory workers and members of animal ethics committees – talk about and handle dilemmas with transgenic animals. It is shown how dilemmas associated with transgenic animals become back-grounded through rhetorical comparisons with “something else”. Through these comparisons, transgenic animals are framed as normal, ordinary and thereby unproblematic, on the one hand, and as exclusive treasures  imbedded in hopes and expectations of future medical treatments, on the other. This tension builds up to a discourse on transgenic mice as ordinary treasures. Towards the end of the paper we discuss how this discourse tends to exclude possibilities of discussing specific dilemmas of genetically modified animals. Instead the discourse is contributing to certain transgenic silences. This paper is based on the project Dilemmas with transgenic animals, in which notions of culture and nature, risk and safety, innovation and organism, science and technology, are investigated in the scientific production, use and ethical evaluation of transgenic animals. The project builds on case studies in two different contexts; laboratories and animal ethics committees. The methods used are interviews and ethnographic fieldwork.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 4, no 2-3, 165-181 p.
Keyword [en]
animal, discourse analysis, ethics, rhetoric, silence, transgenic
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-121852DOI: 10.1017/S1745855209990044ISI: 000284877000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-121852DiVA: diva2:306813
Dilemmas with transgenic animals
Available from: 2010-03-31 Created: 2010-03-31 Last updated: 2011-01-04Bibliographically approved

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