Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies
Joshua S. Hanan
Christina R. Foust
Erin K. Willer
Assessment, Body politic, CRISPR-Cas9, Ethics, Eugenics
This dissertation strives to critique contemporary rhetoric on eugenics. In recent years, scientists succeeded in mapping the human genome and subsequently developed new gene editing technologies. To situate current ethical discourses about eugenics, I trace histories of these discourses at several scales of society – from the macroscopic level of the body politic to the meso level where modes of assessment have been deployed purportedly to accurately evaluate human characteristics to the microscopic level of the gene. I employ Foucauldian genealogy to highlight how, despite marked differences over time in specific eugenic discourses and practices exist, the underlying rhetoric has remained unchanged. The conclusion this study reveals is that eugenics past and present rests on a future, utopian orientation that necessarily entails the elimination of human differences and entire groups of people.
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David Mark Thomas
Received from ProQuest
Thomas, David Mark, "Rhetorical Genealogy and the Ethics of Eugenics" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1848.