The Discourse of DNA: What Research Subjects Say About Participating (or Not) in a Genomic Biobank
56 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2010
This paper reports the results of a qualitative linguistic analysis of interviews with persons who were asked to contribute DNA samples to a genomic biobank. We compare this folk discourse of biobanking to the expert discourse reflected in an extensive biomedical literature. Our most significant finding concerns the social nature of giving informed consent: whereas medical research practice treats it as an event, our subjects talk about it as a discursive process. Our subjects also expound fascinating folk theories of genetics and discuss their views of the sample contribution itself, revealing some remarkable folk-legal theories of that transaction.
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