Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality


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Montoya, Michael J.

His claims draw authority from his impressive engagement with scientific practice and fluency in the language of genetics, which enable him to avoid critiquing a scientific straw man. Such analysis draws on remarkable ethnography. Montoya conducted extensive participant observation in multiple sites of an international diabetes research consortium.

Linking rich ethnography with equally rich analysis, Montoya shows readers how interactions in these sites illustrate widely varying uses and even critiques of ideas of race which ultimately, because of broader social forces, revivify ideas of human difference that perpetuate inequality. Montoya clearly situates himself in the work, discussing his intellectual and social background and its relationship to the development of his project; graduate students designing their own fieldwork will find this instructive.

This book is a must-read for scholars seeking an ethnographically grounded yet highly theoretical read on science, sickness, race and Mexicanness. It reveals relationships between race, science, and context that should be widely understood, and Montoya expresses hope that a broadly interdisciplinary readership might apply these insights.

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The biology of race in the absence of biological races: Rick Kittles at TEDxNorthwesternU

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LOG IN. The Americas. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Reviewed by:. BiDil is a combination of two generic drugs for heart failure that have been on the scene for decades. In , the Food and Drug A dministration approved the old drugs for a new purpose: the treatment of heart failure in a single race, African Americans.

Jonathan Kahn, author of Race in a Bottle , has written extensively on the history of this medication.

About the Book

There is no doubt that BiDil works for African Americans. Researchers only studied BiDil in African Americans. The drug likely worked not because they are black, but because they are human. But the juicier claim is that NitroMed, the company behind BiDil, was able to extend its patent to , which otherwise would have expired in The magic touch was the race-specific label, which made the old method new again.

Racial Health Disparities Caused by Racism, Inequality

Another reason for the persistence of race and genetics in biomedical research is much more subtle. Certain diseases cluster in populations, such as Tay-Sachs, which is most common in people with an Ashkenazi Jewish background.


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In such cases, some researchers say we should turn our attention away from race and toward ancestry. If it is true that there are differences in disease risk between human groups, then what we need is a more clever way to dice up humanity. That is a better proxy for biology than race.

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But this only takes us in a circle. Even when researchers study ancestry, it is often just race in a phony moustache and glasses.

Genes Don't Cause Racial-Health Disparities, Society Does - The Atlantic

Take the creation of ancestry informative markers AIMs. They are used for both the sort of recreational ancestry mapping that promises to uncover roots and to understand disease risk. The vast majority of health disparities are due to social, behavioral, and environmental components. The main reason is the political ramification.

Editorial Reviews

In his book Making the Mexican Diabetic : Race, Science, and Inequality , Michael Montoya shows how epidemiologists try to explain diabetes through genetics, even if evidence points in a social direction: lifestyle disruptions, dispossession, and poverty, which disproportionately affect minorities.

Even when doctors and policymakers try to address health disparities, and not simply phantom genetic differences, there tends to be too much focus on technology, drugs, and devices. The former surgeon general, David Satcher, and his colleagues say that this is a mistake.

Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality
Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality
Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality
Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality
Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality
Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality

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