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The Enculturated GeneSickle Cell Health Politics and Biological Difference in West Africa$
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Duana Fullwiley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691123165

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691123165.001.0001

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Introduction: The Powers of Association

Introduction: The Powers of Association

(p.1) Chapter One Introduction: The Powers of Association
The Enculturated Gene

Duana Fullwiley

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores prevailing attitudes in Senegal about sickle cell anemia and its biomedical and political stewards. It also looks at how the Senegalese have had to perform the discursive double duty of protesting public neglect and political apathy with regard to the disease, while promoting a self-based conception of vitality for those who have the capacity to “live well” with it. Their frustration that Senegal's health ministry, and larger government, has long ignored sickle cell as a public health problem, is articulated alongside their own strength and will to live “normally.” This chapter takes a closer look at this configuration of crisis and subsequent contrary affirmation of an intuited, lived (but not yet officially sanctioned) description of the nature of things.

Keywords:   Senegal, sickle cell anemia, public neglect, political apathy, vitality, health, sicklers

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