Biotechnology and Culture

Brodwin, Paul. Biotechnology And Culture. 1st ed., Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2000,.

Throughout this anthology Brodwin is describing how different technology’s affect culture. He focuses on how technology mostly effects gender, and how technology is a large part of culture. We see how it effects many different social issues, for example gender division and abortion. His main argument is that the main point of why technology is developed is often lost. “While it is true that the examination is often fraught with anxiety over the possibility of a “positive” diagnosis of fetal anomaly or death, it is also true that many women look forward to and enjoy ultrasound, and even seek it out” (151). This is a point that is brought up by the author to show that more often than not ultrasounds are used to make ourselves feel better. The author did research with many mothers and asked about sex in a Chicago hospital and found, “Time and time again, women told me that they were looking forward to the ultrasound examination because they were hoping to learn the sex, so that they could start buying things for the baby”(152). This is where he views that people have found the main purpose of ultrasounds to be for determining the sex of the baby instead of the health of the child.

The author has strengths in being reliable. He makes it easy to trust him as he develops authority, through doing research. By examining studies and following research it shows the audience that he knows the facts. However, within this reading ethical issues of abortion often arise. The author brings up the viewpoint of one women, “Abortion should be a matter of choice for any woman, Ms. A. says, only she is not the relevant woman with respect to this abortion and this fetus” (Brodwin 76). This is an ethical issue that is debated in many different cultures.

This source relates back to the gender party readings. There are similarities in where the emphasis is applied. The research that he observed is important because it shows where the emphasis of today’s culture lies. This shows us that culture is changing and society has lost focus. Ultrasound technology is slowly going down hill as people are loosing site of why it is truly important. Technology is becoming more of a social focus instead of a necessity.


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