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Life ExposedBiological Citizens after Chernobyl$
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Adriana Petryna

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151663

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151663.001.0001

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(p.215) Chapter 8 Conclusion
Life Exposed

Adriana Petryna

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes the book's main findings and their implications. It describes the Chernobyl aftermath as a prism that reflects, contains, and reconfigures the vexed political-economic, scientific, legal, and social circumstances in post-Soviet Ukraine. It emphasizes the disharmony among lawmakers, radiation scientists, health professionals, and sufferers as they stood along the continuum of knowledge production, power, moral sensibility, and self-disclosure. It considers how the radiation research process facilitated the naturalization of illnesses in bodies as a matter of “social health.” The chapter also discusses a number of ethical issues that bear on the fate of Chernobyl sufferers; for example, how future changes in social and economic contexts will affect the legitimacy of compensation mechanisms and categories of suffering. Biological citizenship, it argues, represents a complex intersection of social institutions and the intense vulnerabilities of populations exposed to the determinations of the international political economy.

Keywords:   social health, Chernobyl aftermath, post-Soviet Ukraine, radiation, Chernobyl sufferers, radiation research, illness, compensation, suffering, biological citizenship

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