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ABSTRACT: Arthur Mourant's The Distribution of the Human Blood Groups (1954) was an "indispensable" reference book on the "anthropology of blood groups" containing a vast collection of human genetic data. It was based on the results of blood-grouping tests carried out on half-a-million people and drew together studies on diverse populations around the world: from rural communities, to religious exiles, to volunteer transfusion donors. This paper pieces together sequential stages in the production of a small fraction of the blood-group data in Mourant's book, to examine how he and his colleagues made genetic data from people. Using sources from several collecting projects, I follow how blood was encountered, how it was inscribed, and how it was turned into a laboratory resource. I trace Mourant's analytical and representational strategies to make blood groups both credibly 'genetic' and understood as relevant to human ancestry, race and history. In this story, 'populations' were not simply given, but were produced through public health, colonial and post-colonial institutions, and by the labour and expertise of subjects, assistants and mediators. Genetic data were not self-evidently 'biological', but were shaped by existing historical and geographical identities, by political relationships, and by notions of kinship and belonging.
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ABSTRACT: This paper deals with the simultaneous mainstreaming and diversification of ni-Vanuatu social categories associated with the ways in which population growth is understood as a possible crisis in both demographic knowledge and everyday ni-Vanuatu knowledge. The author is interested in understanding the downplaying but primarily the amplification of difference with respect to place, generation and gender identities. The relationship between reproduction, social reproduction and the multiple meanings of modernity is at issue. In the expert knowledge of demography that proffers advice for the ni-Vanuatu state, it is the lack of modern development - in the form of adequate biomedical birth control, western education, and the equality of women - that is the implicit cause of population growth. Yet, many ni-Vanuatu see population growth as tied to the troubles that arise from the dilution of traditional social forms: there is too much modernity. In both demographic and ni-Vanuatu everyday narrations of the potential population crisis, diversification and mainstreaming take place and vulnerabilities are produced.
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