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The manifold materialities of human remains

In this article we explore the relational materiality of fragments of human cadavers used to produce DNA profiles of the unidentified dead at a forensic genetics police laboratory in Rio de Janeiro. Our point of departure is an apparently simple problem: how to discard already tested materials in order to open up physical space for incoming tissue samples. However, during our study we found that transforming human tissues and bone fragments into disposable trash requires a tremendous institutional investment of energy, involving negotiations with public health authorities, criminal courts and public burial grounds. The dilemma confronted by the forensic genetic lab suggests not only how some fragments are endowed with more personhood than others, but also how the very distinction between human remains and trash depends on a patchwork of multiple logics that does not necessarily perform according to well-established or predictable scripts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
The ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture

those disseminated through community life – increasingly inadequate. At the same moment, the cinema and the technologised mass culture that it helped inaugurate transformed memory by making possible an unprecedented circulation of images and narratives about the past. Thanks to these new technologies of memory on the one hand and commodification on the other, the kinds of memories that one has ‘intimate

in Memory and popular film
Mass violence, genocide, and the ‘forensic turn’

Human remains and identification presents a pioneering investigation into the practices and methodologies used in the search for and exhumation of dead bodies resulting from mass violence. Previously absent from forensic debate, social scientists and historians here confront historical and contemporary exhumations with the application of social context to create an innovative and interdisciplinary dialogue, enlightening the political, social and legal aspects of mass crime and its aftermaths. Through a ground-breaking selection of international case studies, Human remains and identification argues that the emergence of new technologies to facilitate the identification of dead bodies has led to a “forensic turn”, normalising exhumations as a method of dealing with human remains en masse. However, are these exhumations always made for legitimate reasons? Multidisciplinary in scope, the book will appeal to readers interested in understanding this crucial phase of mass violence’s aftermath, including researchers in history, anthropology, sociology, forensic science, law, politics and modern warfare.

Handling urban overflows

-century body measurements and fingerprinting to later forms, such as DNA, eye scanning, and digitalization. Authorities had to learn how to select certain details, traits, and elements from overflowing information in order to produce a passport system, the paramount form of identification record. What kind of information should be selected and represented in the passport or its forerunner, the travel pass? As Frances Stonor Saunders (2016: 8) has noted, identification markers and forms are dependent upon existing technologies. The advent of cheap paper in the sixteenth

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Open Access (free)
An interdisciplinary approach to the study of demand and its role in innovation

This book brings together a range of sociologists and economists to study the role of demand and consumption in the innovative process. Starting with a broad conceptual overview of ways that the sociological and economics literatures address issues of innovation, demand and consumption, it goes on to offer different approaches to the economics of demand and innovation through an evolutionary framework, before reviewing how consumption fits into evolutionary models of economic development. The book then looks at food consumption as an example of innovation by demand, including an examination of the dynamic nature of socially constituted consumption routines. It includes an analysis of how African Americans use consumption to express collective identity and discusses the involvement of consumers in innovation, focusing on how consumer needs may be incorporated in the design of high-tech products. It also argues for the need to build an economic sociology of demand that goes from micro-individual through to macro-structural features.

Open Access (free)

affected by a variety of different facets. He argued that both the technology and the rules acted to influence performance. Haake ( 2009 ) was particularly interested in the way that technologies had a causal effect on sporting performance. In the sports he chose to examine he found a very direct relationship. This kind of work is important in understanding technologies, and a statistical methodology allows the numerical identification of direct effects in sports where measurements are key. The ANT methodology

in Sport and technology
Challenges and technological solutions to the ­identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context

some cases given false hope to family members who perceive DNA technology as an all-encompassing solution. They are then disappointed if an identification is not possible, and may feel misled by the whole process. In his recent work, Francisco Ferrándiz highlights this very issue with the identification of victims of the Spanish Civil War.5 The science of identification is fallible and care must be taken not to present these advances as a solution with a guaranteed outcome. There are numerous challenges that exist that hinder an identification being made. Traditional

in Human remains and identification
Open Access (free)

In today’s world, we are offered a constantly expanding range of interconnected technologies to use at work, at home and in leisure activities. The realm of sport is no exception, where new technologies or enhancements are available to athletes, coaches, scientists, umpires, governing bodies and broadcasters. However, in a world where time has become a precious commodity and numerous options are always on offer, functionality is no longer enough to drive their use. Instead, as this book has shown, each

in Sport and technology
Open Access (free)
Fifth Estate’s critique of the megamachine

4 Steve Millett Technology is capital: Fifth Estate’s critique of the megamachine Introduction ‘How do we begin to discuss something as immense as technology?’, writes T. Fulano at the beginning of his essay ‘Against the megamachine’ (1981a: 4). Indeed, the degree to which the technological apparatus penetrates all elements of contemporary society does make such an undertaking a daunting one. Nevertheless, it is an undertaking that the US journal and collective Fifth Estate has attempted. In so doing, it has developed arguably the most sophisticated and

in Changing anarchism
Open Access (free)
Why exhume? Why identify?

mass violence, and thereby to initiate a truly interdisciplinary dialogue. The third phase of the programme, investigating the place of human remains in the process of patrimonialization and commemoration of extreme violence, was the subject of a conference in September 2014 and of a forthcoming volume published in this series. The contributions to the present volume thus document, in very different contexts, the specific fate of dead bodies after life and the variety of techniques and technologies used for their location and identification. These texts take as their

in Human remains and identification