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Situated Kinmaking and the Population “Problem”

Situated Kinmaking and the Population “Problem” Contemporary concern about climate change has been accompanied by a resurgence in questions about what part human numbers play in environmental degradation and species loss. What does population mean, and how is this concept being put to use at a moment when the urgency of climate change seems to elevate the appeal to/of numbers? What role has and should kinship play in understanding “population”? Through a discussion of three recent books—Adele Clarke and Donna Haraway’s edited collection Making Kin Not Population, Michelle Murphy’s The Economization of Life, and Jade Sasser’s On Infertile Ground—this book review essay grapples with the place of human numbers in our understanding of the connections between human reproduction, kinship, and environmental issues. This essay engages most closely with the chapters by Clarke and Haraway in Making Kin, setting out concerns about their turn to (over)population through the analytical insights, historical perspectives, and empirical data of Murphy and Sasser. By putting these three books in dialogue with one another, this essay argues that responsibility for limitations on one’s ability to make kin lies within a heteronormative, White supremacist, capitalist political-economy and its inherent structures of inequality rather than in individual (decision) making. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Humanities Duke University Press

Situated Kinmaking and the Population “Problem”

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Copyright
© 2020 Katharine Dow and Janelle Lamoreaux
ISSN
2201-1919
eISSN
2201-1919
DOI
10.1215/22011919-8623230
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary concern about climate change has been accompanied by a resurgence in questions about what part human numbers play in environmental degradation and species loss. What does population mean, and how is this concept being put to use at a moment when the urgency of climate change seems to elevate the appeal to/of numbers? What role has and should kinship play in understanding “population”? Through a discussion of three recent books—Adele Clarke and Donna Haraway’s edited collection Making Kin Not Population, Michelle Murphy’s The Economization of Life, and Jade Sasser’s On Infertile Ground—this book review essay grapples with the place of human numbers in our understanding of the connections between human reproduction, kinship, and environmental issues. This essay engages most closely with the chapters by Clarke and Haraway in Making Kin, setting out concerns about their turn to (over)population through the analytical insights, historical perspectives, and empirical data of Murphy and Sasser. By putting these three books in dialogue with one another, this essay argues that responsibility for limitations on one’s ability to make kin lies within a heteronormative, White supremacist, capitalist political-economy and its inherent structures of inequality rather than in individual (decision) making.

Journal

Environmental HumanitiesDuke University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2020

References