Donated Blood, the Body and the Self: Towards a Hierarchy of the Self?

Mahon-Daly, Pat (2016) Donated Blood, the Body and the Self: Towards a Hierarchy of the Self? International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 8 (7). pp. 59-64. ISSN 2006-988X

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This paper examines the changes in relationship between the body, society and donated blood. Studies in this area (Waldby 2004; Tutton 2002; Scully et al., 2006; Shaw, 2010) have focused on the moral or ethical issues related to blood donation rather than corporeal and cultural issues. This paper deconstructs the impact of developments in bio-technology and commodification of blood with regard to the self, blood donation and blood products and analyses the way in which donors understand bloods’ commodification has altered meanings attached to blood and of impact of corporeal connectedness on the self as Donor. Using data from a qualitative ethnographic study, this paper concludes that the Donor Self has become formed into a hierarchy of parts, to manage the moral and ethical demands on the person when donating, as a result of the medical need for all body parts. Increasingly, blood donors feel they ‘have to give something of themselves’, it introduces the unique concepts of differing selves: the Inner Self, the Liquid and Solid Self relating this to the work of Goffman, as donors seek to rationalize what being a blood donor means for them and their blood.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Body, donated blood, spare parts, gift exchange, self, hierarchy, corporeality
Divisions: ?? BucksNewUniversity ??
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 09:01
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 19:27

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