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Standardizing work as a recursive process: shaping the embryonic stem cell field

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In this paper, we examine processes of standardization and their role in helping to stabilize human embryonic stem cells as biological objects and in building the stem cell field itself. Drawing on empirical data from the emerging embryonic stem cell field, we explore the various arenas within which standardizing work goes on and how these relate to each other as different types of labour within and beyond the lab, one to do with stabilizing the bio-object and a second to do with its comparability and identity within a wider domain. Standardizing work reflects the recursive relation between these processes which are discussed via the concepts of bio-objectification and bio-identification.
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Keywords: bio-objects; standardization; stem cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 2: SATSU, Department of Sociology, University of York, York, UK

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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