Hematopolitics: a comparative study of reciprocity and exclusion in the blood economy


  • Dr Jieun Kim

    University of Leeds

Project summary

Blood occupies a special place in human history for the strong associations and deep sentiments it provokes about identity, kinship bonds and vitality. The biomedical and biotechnological use of blood has complicated the symbolic meaning of blood and the relations formed around its exchange. 

Building on an emergent collaboration among researchers in the UK and east Asia, we aim to establish foundations for a comparative study of how the donation and circulation of blood and its components across social boundaries, reconfigure local concepts of race and ethnicity, caste and class, and sex, gender and sexuality. 

By providing a global and comparative perspective on the social dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in blood-banking, we will stimulate discussions on building broader consensus around the collection and use of blood to establish a more equitable infrastructure of health and science.