DNA and Ancestry Tests: A conversation on community, politics, racial ideology and genetics

Topic:  DNA, Genetic testing kits. Race deconstruction, Ancestry, Indigenous Anthropology, Medical Anthropology

Participants: Laurette McGuire  PhD,  Associate  Professor,  Medical and Indigenous Anthropology,   CSU  San  Marcos
Broadcast Air Date: 03/01/19
Time: 5:15 PM (PST)
Station: KUCR 88.3 FM Riverside, CA
KUCR station page: http://www.kucr.org
Archive pages: https://soundcloud.com/stoppretending, http://www.dreport.org

Send comments about this segment to: comments@dreport.org
Segment produced in KUCR, the radio station of the University California in Riverside.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are the sole responsibility of the respective speakers and do not represent the endorsed position of the UC Regents, UC Riverside or KUCR.

Discussion Topics:

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Indigenous Anthropology
  • Why is Race a social construct?
  • Can DNA kits tell us your race?
  • Can the DNA kits provide a racial composition if race is a social construct?
  • Can you be “part Indian?”
  • How do indigenous communities define community membership?
  • Can biology tell you where you come from?
  • Are the present DNA ancestry movements based on the past assumptions of race-based beliefs of blood differences?
  • The paternity tests are different from the pseudo-scientific classifications of   race?
  • What does it mean to have a percentage of previously unknown membership?
  • How do we define community membership in a non- biological basis?
  • How do the companies test your DNA for ancestry?
  • Why do the companies use probability and statistics to determine social ancestry?
  • Can people go to biology in order to make sense of their social realities?
  • What is the history of Anthropology as part of the colonial project?
  • Can DNA be sold and traded for profit?
  • How much money is made from holding on to the old ideas of race and nationality as biologically based?
  • How much will capitalism benefit from  turning DNA into a profit commodity?
  • Who you are and who claims you is a lot more than your DNA?
  • What is the difference between pan- ethnicity and ethnicity?
  • How will DNA be used to question indigenous communities as authentic or inauthentic?”
  • Kimberly TallBear,  PhD
  • Will the US government use DNA markers to empower or hurt people?
  • Do the DNA ancestry kits tell you if you are America?
  • Why is racial purity absent from the DNA results?

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