Tilltro och misstanke : Genteknik och fosterdiagnostik i det offentliga samtalet
Sammanfattning: The aim of the thesis is to study how gene technology appears as a topic in certain arenas of the public discourse. What are the premises, visions and ideas that are continuously formulated and circulated in the public discourse, and through what communicative practices are they formulated? In order to limit the vast research field, this study focuses on gene technology in relation to pre-natal diagnostics.The empirical material is derived from five different groups of publications, namely; daily newspapers (Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet), popular science magazines (Forskning & Framsteg and Illustrerad Vetenskap), a journal for professionals, i.e. physicians (Läkartidningen), a journal for members in a nationwide organizationfor the visually impaired (SFR-perspektiv), and parliamentary motions. The empirical material consists of texts published between 1989 and 1994.The analyses have focused on themes, genre, actorship and narratives appearing in the empirical material. Conclusions reached by the study are that the themes occupy different positions in genres. In the debating genres, the dominant themes are ethics and regulation, and gene technology is defined as a problem that concerns the whole of society. In the news article genre, the dominant themes are scientific discoveries andtechnology and practices in use in scientific and clinical work. Two major perspectives, or narratives, could be discerned in the material, characterized by optimism and trust, and by pessimism and suspicion. Furhermore, the analysis has shown that gene technology clearly appears as a moral discourse. Several domains of expertise and power are drawn into discourse to legitimate or to reject claims of truth and value, concerning both basic human values and the presumed consequences of gene technology.
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