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Keywords:

  • kinship;
  • genetic;
  • time;
  • risk

Abstract

This article synthesises recent research examining how families live with genetic risk and the processes of genetic decision-making and disclosure among family members who have been or are at risk of transmitting a familial genetic condition. Its aim is to generate substantive theory that can inform our understanding of the interactional processes at work in the distribution of mutual knowledge and awareness of genetic risk in families. The article is structured around three interrelated concepts. Kinscape refers to the constellation of relations and relatedness that are recognised practically; timescape to the multiple temporal frames of social relations and their transformation and genescape to the constellation of knowledge, belief and practice surrounding genetic inheritance. All three concepts are simultaneously natural and cultural. Their intersections create the conditions of kinship and genetics.