Upright generations of the future: Tradition and medicalization in community genetics

Aviad E. Raz, Marcela Atar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article examines the responses of an Arab Bedouin minority group in Israel to a genetic counseling program for spouse selection. While health professionals designed the program to fit local norms such as consanguinity, matchmaking, and the Muslim ban on abortion, for the Bedouin, it also meant the medicalization of marriage arrangements and family planning. The ethnography focuses on the negotiated order that was developed around genetic testing, placing the voices of community members in the context of personal agendas, gender roles, and broader social and political processes. The conclusion further explores the implications for induced cultural change in community-based health interventions, scientific boundary work, and the ethnography of bioethics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-322
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2004


  • Bedouin
  • Bioethics
  • Genetic counseling
  • Israel
  • Medicalization


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