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Publication details for Prof Bob SimpsonSimpson, Bob (2009). 'Please give a drop of blood’ Blood donation, conflict and the haemato-global assemblage in contemporary Sri Lanka'. Body and Society [Special Issue on Blood Donation, Bioeconomy and Culture edited by Jacob Copeman] 15(2): 101-22
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- ISSN/ISBN: 1357-034X
Author(s) from Durham
Blood is now essential for a widening reprtoire of therapies and with these come new forms of regulation and governmentality focused on the collection, use and storage of blood. Here blood begins to lose its 'natural' underpinnings as it is drawn into the realms of the synethetic and the scientific. However, this change in theoretical lens obscures the ways that, in practice, constructing a 'modern' blood compatible with the demands of the global biopolis is elided with prosaic uses of blood donation that convey powerful cultural and political messages at the local level. In a setting where, in recent decades, war, violence and the threat of social disintegration have been woven into the project of development and modernity, attempts aat an alignment, or what might be characterised as the haemato-global assemblage, reveal significant tensions, The one that I explore in this essay is that between the aspiration to create an international blood donation service in which ideas of national solidarity are articulated through freely and altrusitically gifted blood on the one hand and, on the other, the more potent symbolically loaded ideas of blood which come to the fore when connection and identity are threatened.