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Proposing a Sociology of Donation: The Donation of Body Parts and Products for Art, Education, Research or Treatment.

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Article numbere12826
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/10/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Sociology Compass
Issue number10
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)1-16
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/07/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper advances the case for a ‘sociology of donation’. We aim to establish that there is a need for such a sociology, to bring together the many, often disparate, elements that make up the theorizing, practice and experience of donation. We argue that bringing together different forms of donation illuminates the distinctive place both in social meaning and regulation that the body and its products hold. In developing this, we are primarily focusing on the donation of body parts and body products within high-income countries. We will first outline the standard western accounts of donation, and consider how relevant these are to donation practices and policies in the twenty first century. We will then critically discuss how a sociology of donation can be used to further current understandings of ‘donation’ and identify the challenges facing such a proposal, posing questions to encourage reflection on research practices in this area. Finally, we will explore what a sociology of donation might entail.