Haraway Donna, Review Essay.pdf - Review Reviewed Work(s Reproducing the Future Essays on Anthropology Kinship and the New Reproductive Technologies by

Haraway Donna, Review Essay.pdf - Review Reviewed Work(s...

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Unformatted text preview: Review Reviewed Work(s): Reproducing the Future: Essays on Anthropology, Kinship and the New Reproductive Technologies by Marilyn Strathern Review by: Donna Haraway Source: American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 96, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 212-213 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association Stable URL: Accessed: 27-09-2019 18:23 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at American Anthropological Association, Wiley are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to American Anthropologist This content downloaded from on Fri, 27 Sep 2019 18:23:25 UTC All use subject to AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST 212 with whom the contemporary contemporary anthropologist anthropologist may be expected to to be be familiar. familiar. But of greatest general general and and longstanding longstanding interest to anthropologists anthropologists will will likely likely be be the the book's overall contribution contribution to to performance performance studies and semiotics. semiotics. For For this this reviewer, reviewer, at at least, a volume that that incessantly incessantly discusses discusses mumusic and cultural performances performances involving involving mumusical sounds, yet always always insists insists that that music music is is much, much more than than sounds sounds in in the the air air that that humans value per se, se, is is like like music music to to my my ears. ears. Reproducing the Future: Future: Essays Essays on on AnthroAnthropology, Kinship and and the the New New Reproductive Reproductive Technologies. Marilyn Marilyn Strathern. Strathern. New New York: York: Routledge, 1992. 208 208 pp. pp. DONNA HARAWAY University of California, Santa Cruz Eight essays contextualized by the British 1990 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act, Reproducing the Future inquires into "what [96, 1994 uses the discussion discussion of of A-Life A-Life to to stress stressthat that"you "you can tell aa culture culture by by what what it it can can and andcannot cannot bring together" together" (p. (p. 2). 2). Euro-Americans Euro-Americanshave have taken for for granted granted that, that, however however conventional conventional aspects of of kinship kinship may may be, be, fundamentally fundamentallyitit has to do do with with the the "natural "natural facts facts of oflife." life."The The dilemma dilemma posed posed by by the the new new reproductive reproductivetechtechnologies is is thatwhat thatwhat has has been been taken takenas asnatural natural becomes the the locus locus of of artifactuality. artifactuality.Nature Nature itself becomes becomes the the product product of of deliberate deliberateinterinter- vention. Simultaneously, Simultaneously, the the entire entirereproreproductive model model involving involving heredity heredity and anddeveldevelopment, change and continuity, natural foundations and social elaborations becomes reduced to the instrumentalized genetic indi- vidual. But if the genetic origin/link is nowadays "real" kinship, and if a genetic programme is popularly thought to have its own momentum, then will the rest of human af- fairs-relationships, events, cultures-be seen as a surrogate for reality? ... What then should anthropology reproduce? [p. 179] is thinkable with respect to kinship" (p. 2). Provoked by the new reproductive technologies and Thatherism's cultural revolution, Strathern asks how it is possible to "think" a new biological, legal, and social object in the world-"the human embryo in the very early stages of development, alive but outside the parental body" (p. 4). This entity renders problematic the Euro-American boundaries between nature and culture, recognition and commercial practices. The locus of reality, of facticity separate from metaphoricity, is at stake. "The more facilitation is given to the biological reproduction of human persons, pretations. Acutely aware that ethnogra- facts independent of social intervention" (p. dynamics of Euro-American reproductive models. Her empirical materials are parliamentary debates and media reports, and her target is her own society's ceaseless rework- Americans find it to conceptualise relationships" (p. 11). Formed by British social an- ment of the parents' act of choice. Collapsing other analogies, choice becomes the measure of all action. Desire, itself "enterprised up," is what is left of natural foundations. "The chances are that a culture that thinks itself enterprising will simply reproduce more and more technologies for its marketable reproduction" (p. 43). thropology, Western feminism, and Part II is two tightly argued essays rooted in construction, natural facts and social inter- Part I explores how Euro-Americans have been forced to become explicit about the assumptions of their biosocial reproductive model. Both biology and culture get "as- sisted," for example, in medical, legal, and the harder it is to think of a domain of natural phers' discourse about Melanesian ideas of 30). In a mordant, critical, funny essay, Strathpersonhood and kinship is itself an anthropo- ern disassembles the consumerist ideology of logical artifact, Strathern puts those concepts choice permeating the discourse of assisted to exquisite use in dissecting the cognitive conception. The child becomes the embodi- ings of "individuality." She writes acidly and sardonically to show "how difficult Euro- Melanesian ethnography, Strathern writes in- Melanesian ethnography, which is put into tricate cognitive philosophy, where her cen- tense conversation with feminist and decontral conviction is "that it matters what ideas structionist concerns and with Euro-Amerione uses to think other ideas (with)" (p. 10). can notions of individuality and kinship. The Focusing on hybrid entities and ideas, the Melanesian premises that the child is the collection opens with a quotation from a tele- repository of the actions of multiple others vised discussion about artificial life (A-Life). and that social activity is the dissolution and In A-Life's production of simulated worlds, partition of completed entities are used to what counts as the real world is displaced. clarify and make strange Euro-American asKinship thinking is not dissimilar. Strathern sumptions about the individual and society This content downloaded from on Fri, 27 Sep 2019 18:23:25 UTC All use subject to GE NERAL/T HEORETI CAL ANTHROPOLOGY 213 (e.g., socialization), as well as scholarly pre(de Rios, Drug Tourism in the Amazon, Ansumptions about revealing hidden meanings thropolog3 of Consciousness Newsletter, in press) of linguistic and cultural texts through herreceiving greater attention, there are moral issues as well. meneutic practices. Strathern's contrasts between Melanesian and "our" dismantling proHarrison provides statistics documenting jects also make current anthropological the phenomenal growth in international fascination with hybridity, creolization, and tourism for the last forty years, which shows a collage uncomfortable respites from the ter- 60 percent increase since 1960. In terms of rors of modernist culture concepts. world trade, tourism is the third largest item Part III contrasts Melanesian concepts and and accounts for more than 7 percent of all Euro-American kinship thinking in relation world exports and a level of expenditure exto the status of the early embryo. Gift-giving,ceeding the GNP of all countries but the USA~ coercion, partitioning, representing comThe United States contributes one-quarter of plexity, developmental versus episodic time, all spending' on domestic and international and problems of analogy are brought to bear travel, and tourism is big business. on the dilemmas Euro-Americans face as Theoretical approaches to international their assumptions about natural process, con- focus on either modernization thetourism tinuity and change, choice, chance, and ory indiwith the process of Westernization highviduality come to self-destructing fruition in with developing societies becoming lighted, the emerging figure of the embryo, "entermore like those of the West by emulating prised up" for our consumption. Western developmental patterns. Thus, we see a shift from rural to urban, agricultural to industrial; a central role for money and the Tourism and the Less Developed Countries. money market; and a pivotal role by modernDavid Harrison, ed. London/New York: Belizing elites and other change agents in introhaven Press/Wiley & Sons, 1992. ducing modern values and institutions in the face often of hostile or resistant tradition. The outcome, with regard to modern consciousness, involves greater autonomy for the individual. By contrast, as Harrison argues, an opposite approach is that of underdevelopThis reader on tourism in less-developed ment theory (shades of Gunder Frank), with countries is an important addition to most development in one part of the world system anthropological libraries. More sociologically occurring only at the expense of another. The oriented than other volumes exploring symconcept of centers or a metropolis exploiting bolic aspects of tourism in non-Western societhe periphery or satellites is achieved through ties, Harrison's volume presents 11 articles a mechanism of unequal exchange. Thus, examining the background and social conseunderdevelopment is explained by referquences of tourism and the political instabilences to the structurally subordinate position ity caused by and effecting it in areas such as of underdeveloped societies within the world Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Of particu- system rather than looking for the dead hand lar interest is the fact that the authors of the of tradition, a lack of educated elite, or abvolume emanate from different backsence of values conducive to capitalist development. grounds, including marketing, economics, The various authors do a first-rate job of social anthropology, geography, sociology, examining the wants, ambitions, and effects history, and political science as well as management. of tourism on those about to be developed. Richter and Sinclair focus on international Harrison provides excellent introductory political and economic contexts within which chapters on the background of international tourism and its social consequences. Like a tourism operates. Sinclair, Alizadeh, and double-edged sword, tourism can be seen as Onunga detail the immense role played by either promoting economic growth or contransnational companies at all levels through tributing to the disparities between the rich direct foreign investments. Hall writes on sex and poor. Generally, visitors from rich countourism, a highly commoditized and highly tries visit poor ones, but at the same time, unsavory element of international tourism, expectations of native peoples are raised. with prostitution in Southeast Asia growing as Tourism becomes a political as well as a social tourist related, but not tourist specific. There and economic issue. In recent years, with sex are currently Japanese sex tours in Thailand. tourism (Hall, this volume) and drug tourism Chant deals with Latin American tourism, MARLENE DOBKIN DE RIOS California State University, Fullerton This content downloaded from on Fri, 27 Sep 2019 18:23:25 UTC All use subject to ...
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