Sequencing and its consequences: Path dependence and the relationships between genetics and medicalization

S. Shostak, P. Conrad, A.V. Horwitz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    53 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Both advocacy for and critiques of the Human Genome Project assume a self-sustaining relationship between genetics and. medicalization. However, this assumption ignores the ways in which the meanings of genetic research are conditional on its position in sequences of events. Based, on analyses of three conditions for which at least one putative gene or genetic marker has been identified, this article argues that critical junctures in the institutional stabilization of phenotypes and the mechanisms that sustain such classifications over time configure the practices and meanings of genetic research. Path dependence is critical to understanding the lack of consistent fit between genetics and medlcalization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-316
    Number of pages30
    JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
    Volume114
    Issue numberS1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2008

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