Towards A Comparative Study of Reciprocity and Exclusion in the Blood Economy
Blood occupies a special place in human history for the strong associations and deep sentiments it provokes about identity, kinship bonds and vitality. The biomedical and biotechnological usage of blood then has complicated the symbolic meaning of this substance and the relations formed around its exchanges. Building on an emergent collaboration among researchers in the UK and East Asia, this project aims to establish foundations for a comparative study of how the donation and circulation of blood (from whole blood to various blood components) across social boundaries reconfigure local conceptions of race/ethnicity, caste/class, and sex/gender/sexuality. By providing a global and comparative perspective on the social dynamics of inclusion and exclusion around blood-banking, this project will stimulate discussions on how to build broader consensus around the collection and usage of blood in order to establish a more just and equitable infrastructure of health and science.