Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Human Communications

First Advisor

Joshua S. Hanan

Second Advisor

Christina R. Foust

Third Advisor

Erin K. Willer

Fourth Advisor

Thomas Nail

Keywords

Assessment, Body politic, CRISPR-Cas9, Ethics, Eugenics

Abstract

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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

David Mark Thomas

File size

218 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Rhetoric, Ethics

Available for download on Friday, September 02, 2022

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