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Legal-Lay CommunicationTextual Travels in the Law$
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Chris Heffer, Frances Rock, and John Conley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746842.001.0001

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The Discourse of DNA

The Discourse of DNA

Giving Informed Consent to Genetic Research

Chapter:
(p.247) Chapter 12 The Discourse of DNA
Source:
Legal-Lay Communication
Author(s):

John M. Conley

Jean R. Cadigan

Arlene M. Davis

Allison W. Dobson

Erin Edwards

Wendell Fortson

Robert Mitchell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746842.003.0012

This chapter, by John Conley and colleagues, analyses the travels of texts in an environment where the lay, legal, and scientific worlds intersect: the highly-regulated domain of genetic research. Specifically, it reports the results of a linguistic analysis of interviews with persons who were asked to contribute DNA samples to a genomic biobank—a repository of human DNA and/or associated data, collected and maintained for biomedical research. The chapter focuses on the way that subjects draw on texts from a broad range of sources—including science and law, as they understand them; popular media; conversations with friends and relatives; interior dialogs with themselves; and the interaction with the interviewer—to construct and explain what their participation means to them. Whereas medical practice treats it as an event, these subjects talk about it as a discursive process that unfolds over the course of multiple communicative interactions.

Keywords:   Discursive, informed consent, narrative, DNA, genetics, medical research, reanimate, recontextualize

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