Science, Sentiment, and the State
Community Genetics and Pursuit of Public Health in Cuba
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Medical Anthropology Quarterly published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Anthropological Association
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Medical Anthropology Quarterly
Special Issue: Public Health Genomics
Volume 27, Issue 4, pages 531–549, December 2013
How to Cite
Gibbon, S. E. (2013), Science, Sentiment, and the State. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 27: 531–549. doi: 10.1111/maq.12056
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2013
- public health;
- health professionals
Contributing to an emerging field of social science literature by examining the translation of genomic medicine across global and transnational fields of research and medicine, this article examines how genetics is allied to public health in Cuba. It examines the sociopolitical and cultural discourses and practices that constitute community genetics or challenge or impede the translation and expansion of genomics as public health. Focusing on the experience of health practitioners, the article explores how their work is circumscribed by cultural values and social ideologies that collectively reveal an unexpected heterogeneity in how genetics is being constituted and reproduced. Although the Western quest for genomics as “personal medicine” is revealed here as both ideologically and practically problematic, such challenges paradoxically work to reinforce a commitment to maintaining the distinctive field of Cuban community genetics in its orientation to collective public health.