[ISEA2011] Panel: Se­bas­t­ian Sierra Barra – Human Self-Dis­cred­i­ta­tion as an Eman­ci­pa­tive Act

Panel Statement

Panel: How dare you? Acts of Deviance and Strategies of Discreditation

Dis­cred­i­ta­tion is a human strat­egy to de­val­u­ate some­body or some­thing. Its mean­ing is very close to “dis­crim­i­na­tion”. For in­stance, na­tions, eth­nic groups, classes, in­di­vid­u­als etc. were and are able to sta­bi­lize their sense of self-worth by com­par­ing mi­nori­ties or spe­cific eth­nic groups with an­i­mals. Here, the world of hu­mans and the world of an­i­mals are brought to­gether. Nowhere else, the bound­aries be­tween hu­mans and an­i­mals dis­ap­pear so eas­ily as in the field of dis­crim­i­na­tion.  This pre­sen­ta­tion will pur­sue the sci­en­tific tracks of self-dis­cred­i­ta­tion and in­ter­pret them as forms of crit­i­cal be­hav­ior. By look­ing at dif­fer­ent ex­am­ples, like the Human Genom Pro­ject and its as­so­ci­ated ex­pec­ta­tions, re­sults and dis­ap­point­ments, this paper will show that fetch­ing man down from the evo­lu­tion­ary tree should be val­u­ated as an act of eman­ci­pa­tive self-dis­cred­i­ta­tion.

  • Se­bas­t­ian Sierra Barra is a PhD stu­dent of Pol­i­tics, Eu­ro­pean Eth­nol­ogy and An­thro­pol­ogy at the Goethe Uni­ver­sity Frank­furt, DE. He holds a schol­ar­ship of the Frank­furt Grad­u­ate School of So­cial Sci­ence and Hu­man­i­ties. His re­search pro­ject is about the role of media in the ‘in­for­ma­tion age’ from a co­evo­lu­tion­ary point of view.