Comparing Concerns—Some issues in organ and other donations

Edvard Westermarck Memorial Lecture:


  • Marilyn Strathern Cambridge University


In an information society, where overload has become a problem, might anthropology’s comparative method find a new lease of life? This Lecture sets out to test the hunch that it might. A field ever more densely populated with information is that of organ and tissue donation, and the debates to which current practices give rise. Donation is only one of several modes of procurement, organs only one kind of body part that can be donated, and people offer comparisons just as commentators do. Perhaps here is an answer to the question of how to make a reasonable account out of a fraught and infinitely expandable nexus of public concerns. Is it possible to conserve the complexity of the issues while not letting the sheer quantity of information run away with  itself? Would following through the comparisons do the trick?




How to Cite

Strathern, M. (2009). Comparing Concerns—Some issues in organ and other donations: Edvard Westermarck Memorial Lecture:. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 34(4), 5–21.