Backdoor to Eugenics: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Backdoor to Eugenics

2nd Edition

By Troy Duster


244 pages

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Paperback: 9780415946742
pub: 2003-08-19
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Considered a classic in the field, Troy Duster's Backdoor to Eugenics was a groundbreaking book that grappled with the social and political implications of the new genetic technologies. Completely updated and revised, this work will be welcomed back into print as we struggle to understand the pros and cons of prenatal detection of birth defects; gene therapies; growth hormones; and substitute genetic answers to problems linked with such groups as Jews, Scandanavians, Native American, Arabs and African Americans. Duster's book has never been more timely.


'Troy Duster is one of the leading sociologists of race, health/medicine and technoscience. This book was pathbreaking when it came out, and still resonates fully with current issues.' - Adele Clarke, co-editor of Revisioning Women, Health and Healing

'It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this book. Troy Duster wrestles with the social, cultural and moral issues surrounding the molecular biological revolution.' - Joan H. Fujimura, Stanford University

'A powerfully engaging book. Duster illuminates the social dimensions of the meteoric rise of new genetic technologies. He eloquently explains ways in which our ideologies and stratification systems shape our thinking about scientific discovery. Highly recommended reading for the citizen and scholar alike.' - Elaine Draper, author of Risky Business

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction by Pierre Bourdieu Acknowledgements 1. Inherited Genetic Disorders and Inherited Social Orders 2. The Prism of Heritability and the Sociology of Knowledge: What Questions? Whose Questions 3. The Genetic Screening of "Target" Populations 4. Dilemmas of a "General" Genetic Disorder Control Policy 5. Neutrality and Ideology in Genetic Disorder Control 6. The Increasing Appropriation of Genetic Explanations 7. Eugenics by the Back Door Appendix A: Intermediate Steps between Micro and Macro Integration: The Case of Screening for Inherited Disorders Appendix B: Screening Issues in Counselling Appendix C: The Ethnic Distribution of Disease Notes References Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General