Blood Functions: Disability, Biosociality, and Facts of the Body


The article examines how blood has historically functioned through modes of biocertification to co-produce race and disability in the US as a stable, biological property of an individual so as to be able to know and govern such social identities. It then traces how with the rise of genomic research, this biologically based stable-identification has become a form of “biosociality,” pointing to the novel alliances between patients, scientists, politicians, doctors, and biotech companies that give rise to new kinds of disability social relations. While new forms of disabled biosociality have had the potential to break down the way in which biology has been inscribed in a divide between nature and culture that locates biological impairments within individual bodies, the argument is that disability studies has left biology untouched as an active agent in the social production of disability.