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Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
On April 26, 1986, Unit Four of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded in then Soviet Ukraine. More than 3.5 million people in Ukraine alone, not to mention many citizens of surrounding countries, are still suffering the effects. "Life Exposed" is the first book to comprehensively examine the vexed political, scientific, and social circumstances that followed the disaster. ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published November 17th 2002 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Mar 09, 2009 Adrianna rated it really liked it
I'll always be biased to books that revolve around Eastern European cultures. Nonetheless, Petryna illuminates vital philosophies of medical anthropology. Adriana Petryna's Life Exposed delves into the political and social complications that developed in Ukraine after the explosion. Such complications ultimately created a hierarchy of human value based on scientific jargon. The Ukrainian government appeals to the international arena not through glorifying their success as post-Soviet nation, but ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
I am not much of a fan of Petryna's writing style, and (in agreement with a colleague who made this comment as I was beginning the book) I do wish that she had gotten to the stories of real people much sooner in her text. There seems to be a dirth of rich ethnography in this ostensibly ethnographic book. Regardless, her analysis is sharp and wrought. The book won numerous awards in spite of the unnecessarily dense and god-like writing style, which is a point in it's favor as far as I am concerne ...more
May 20, 2010 Erik rated it really liked it
An ethnographic account of how Ukrainian citizens become biological citizens, foregoing all other identities, in order to get treatment for the effects of low dose radiation brought on my the Chernobyl catastrophe. The analysis are clear, and thorough. Petryna uses individuals' stories to reveal the political and social realities that sufferers must deal with on a day to day basis. Although its very fact heavy and not targeted to the general public her writing style coupled with the organization ...more
Feb 16, 2007 meredith rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit slow going and quite dry (in the boring way) at times, but interesting nonetheless. I don't quite know for sure, but it's quite possible that this book came from a doctoral dissertation. Anyway, you'll learn a few interesting and disturbing things about Chernobyl, that's for damn sure.
Feb 16, 2008 Joanna rated it it was amazing
As a tudent of Dr. Petryna's husband (Joao Biehl), I read this book as part of his class on medical anthropology. I still refer to it today both as a psychologist and a public health practitioner. Excellent work, very informative. An anthropological work of the highest caliber.
Sep 12, 2010 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Just read this book last week and think it's fascinating. Such an interesting take on the strange ways that science and social order intertwine. And just a good read as well.
May 13, 2008 Janet rated it liked it
Shelves: public-health
Important book, but frustrating to read. Needed editing.
Jun 05, 2007 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sts, ethnography
I really love this ethnography ... it was great ...
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