Co-constructing ancestry through direct-to-consumer genetic testing: challenges and implications

Lang, AlexanderORCID: and Winkler, FlorianORCID: (2021) Co-constructing ancestry through direct-to-consumer genetic testing: challenges and implications. TATuP – Journal for Technology Assessment in Theory and Practice, 30 (2), pp. 30-35.

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Direct-to-consumer (dtc) genetic ancestry tests offered via the internet supposedly uncover the ancestry of those tested. While the tests might be understood as means to find a biologically inscribed and fixed genealogy, this paper explores how the companies and the customers co-construct ancestry through genetic ancestry testing. The study draws on a review of relevant literature, qualitative interviews with experts and stakeholders, a website analysis, and an autoethnographic self-observation. It shows how dtc genetic testing companies create specific concepts of ancestry in their marketing, development of specific databases, as well as presentation of results, but also how users interpret and incorporate their results into their own genealogy and life. Describing possible social impacts of dtc ancestry testing, the paper questions their categorization as recreational activity or entertainment.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: dtc genetic testing, DNA analysis, genealogy, ancestry
Funders: Stiftung für Technologiefolgen-Abschätzung TA SWISS
Research Units: Current Research Groups > Science, Technology and Social Transformation
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2021 05:17
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2021 05:17
DOI: 10.14512/tatup.30.2.30
ISSN: 2568-020X (Print), 2567-8833

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