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
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
-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
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.
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.
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
Challenges and technological solutions to the identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context
Gillian Fowler and Tim Thompson
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.
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
Technology is capital: Fifth Estate’s critique of
‘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
mass violence, and thereby to initiate a truly
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