Social and Cultural Lives of Immune Systems

By James M. Wilce Jr | Go to book overview

Chapter 11

Corporeal flows

The immune system, global economies of food, and new implications for health

Richard Cone and Emily Martin

Allergies and autoimmune disorders are increasing in incidence, especially among the urban poor. This chapter, 1 which results from conversations and research that bring together knowledge and methods from anthropology and immunology, 2 considers the interrelated biological and social implications of the increasing incidence of immune dysfunctions, and the ways in which changes in food production, transport, and consumption, circulating through global markets, may be contributing to immune dysfunctions, especially through changes in “oral tolerance.

Is collaboration between a biologist and a cultural anthropologist possible today? Would bringing insights from biological science and cultural studies together produce a synergy that scholars on both sides would find enlightening? This chapter could be seen as a test case for these questions. Richard Cone is a biophysicist who, for the first half of his career studied the fluid properties of membranes in the cell in order to further basic science. For the second half of his career he has been studying the physiological properties of sperm, the vagina, and the rectum, in order to develop a topical substance for the penis or vagina that would kill sperm and any pathogen found in human sexual orifices. Emily Martin is an anthropologist who, for the first half of her career studied cultural and social organization in the Taiwanese countryside. For the second half of her career, she has been studying the complex interplay among sciences like reproductive biology and immunology and concepts and practices that permeate the wider culture in the United States in order to understand, and influence, contemporary conceptions and practices related to health.

Reactions to drafts of this paper from our respective colleagues surprised us. We were both anxious that immunologists might be affronted by non-immunologists’ suggesting new questions about the immune system. But we both felt confident that anthropologists and other students of culture would react with interest, the more so because the text is experimental in form and content. In spite of our worries, immunologists who read the paper were immensely encouraging, excitedly offering us related thoughts and references. One immunologist immediately made copies of the paper and assigned

-232-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social and Cultural Lives of Immune Systems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 318

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.