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      Time, DNA and documents in family reckonings

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          Abstract

          In this paper, drawing on literature from both STS and the anthropology of kinship, we describe a political movement aimed at legal reparation for human rights violations perpetrated by the Brazilian government against children of the compulsorily institutionalized patients of Hansen's disease. We conduct our investigation by exploring the action of intertwining technologies -- narrated recollections, written documents, and the DNA test -- employed by major actors to "reckon" the family connections at the core of this drama. The notion of technologies helps underline not only the materiality of certain processes, but also the complex temporalities at play. Responding to a challenge proposed by Janet Carsten, our ultimate aim is to show how political events as well as collective institutionalized structures - operating through the mediation of these diverse technologies - produce a particular kind of sociality, interwoven with perceptions of family and community.

          Translated abstract

          Neste artigo, com inspiração tanto nos estudos da ciência quanto na antropologia do parentesco, descrevemos um movimento político que exige do governo brasileiro reparação legal pela violação dos direitos humanos dos filhos de pessoas compulsoriamente internadas por causa da Hanseníase. Realizamos essa investigação através do exame de três tecnologias interconectadas - narrativas orais, documentos escritos e o teste de DNA - usadas pelos atores principais para "calcular" as conexões familiares no cerne desse drama. A noção de tecnologias permite destacar não só a materialidade de certos processos, mas também as temporalidades complexas em jogo. Ao responder a um desafio lançado por Janet Carsten, nosso objetivo último é demostrar como eventos políticos assim como estruturas institucionalizadas coletivas - mediadas por essas diversas tecnologias - produzem um tipo particular de socialidade, enredada em percepções novas de família e comunidade.

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          Most cited references 65

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          Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network-theory

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Journal
                vb
                Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology
                Vibrant, Virtual Braz. Anthr.
                Associação Brasileira de Antropologia (ABA) (Brasília )
                1809-4341
                June 2015
                : 12
                : 1
                : 75-108
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brazil
                Article
                S1809-43412015000100075
                10.1590/1809-43412015v12n1p075
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                ANTHROPOLOGY

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