From Blood Sacrifice to Blood Science?
This chapter draws on ethnographic research in Kolkata and Delhi. It follows voluntary blood donor organizations seeking to convey to the janata (people) that the body produces more blood than it needs and that a portion of this excess blood can be given without the body losing anything. This is an insight at odds with conventional understandings of blood excorporation in the region as involving irrecuperable loss, understandings that inform continuing perceptions of blood donation as a sacrificial gesture. To give blood without risking irrecuperable loss would seem to fundamentally undercut the gesture of blood donation as sacrifice. An imagination of blood as excess and surplus thus involves the antisacrificial redescription of blood donation.
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