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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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Healthy Sicklers with “Mild” Disease: Local Illness Affects and Population-Level Effects

Healthy Sicklers with “Mild” Disease: Local Illness Affects and Population-Level Effects

(p.45) Chapter Two Healthy Sicklers with “Mild” Disease: Local Illness Affects and Population-Level Effects
The Enculturated Gene

Duana Fullwiley

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on how “sicklers” with varied economic situations and philosophical stances have succeeded in transforming their disease states into “health” statuses through a range of normalization techniques. As discussed in the previous chapter, clinicians and geneticists in Francophone sickle cell circles have adopted an optic of seeing African sicklers in terms of population groups that exhibit differences in disease expression. However, a key slippage occurs when scientists observe biological “outcomes” and assume, as a first response, that these should be attributed to distinct genetic sequences, which those same populations possess at different frequencies. This chapter thus examines how such scientific methods and assumptions may miss complex congeries of behaviors and relationships that influence people's disease experiences and biological expressions of sickle cell anemia.

Keywords:   healthy sicklers, sicklers, normalization techniques, African sicklers, disease expression, disease experiences, biological expressions, population, genetic sequence

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