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Liturgies of Fear: Biotechnology and Culture
Liturgies of fear: Biotechnology and culture

During the 1980s the locus of anxiety regarding the technological threat to the future of human life shifted from nuclear technology in its civil and military guises to biotechnology. In many respects this shift marked the reprise of an earlier, pre-Cold War cultural anxiety focused upon eugenics and the biological control of populations. The earlier anxiety was sufficient in the case of Germany (and in other ostensibly more democratic societies) to mobilize support for political movements and legislative initiatives dedicated to biologically selecting the character of future human populations. The current wave of anxiety in some respects repeats the unstable fusion of fear and desire that characterized the earlier culture of eugenics, with the ...

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