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  • author accepted manuscript Spitting Images Kragh-Furbo and Tutton

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in New Genetics and Society on 09/05/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14636778.2017.1320943

    Accepted author manuscript, 434 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Spitting images: remaking saliva as a promissory substance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>New Genetics and Society
Issue number2
Volume36
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)159-185
Publication statusPublished
Early online date9/05/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Of the bodily substances in which STS scholars, anthropologists, sociologists, and medical historians have been interested, saliva has arguably been overlooked. Yet, in the past twenty years, saliva has become important to the development of consumer genetic tests. Historically, expectoration has been associated with the spread of disease and social indecency, but when the personal genomics company 23andMe began hosting spit parties in 2007, the act of spitting was transformed into an act of self-empowerment through which the individual gained new health information and saliva turned into a new biological source for measuring health and illness. Attending to saliva’s social meanings over time, and by analysing 23andMe “unboxing” YouTube videos, we argue that saliva has become a promissory substance whose place is no longer reserved only for the inner spaces of the body, but circulates outside the body, forming an important part of the contemporary bioeconomy.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in New Genetics and Society on 09/05/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14636778.2017.1320943