Through a rich ethnographic portrait of medical labs and blood banks at hospitals in Penang, Malaysia, Janet Carsten successfully meets Blood Work's twofold aim: to offer a fresh perspective on social and cultural lives in a modern Malay city and to explore the general nature of blood and its capacity for figurative elaboration. She reveals that, on the one hand, ethnic, religious, and kinship ties permeate the seemingly isolated techno-scientific environment of the labs in Penang, while on the other, it is the quality of animation that lies at the heart of blood's aptness for symbolization and capacity for naturalization.

Following the flow of blood from blood donation sites to blood banks and medical labs, the book presents the social life of blood donors, medical lab technologists, their workspaces, and the blood itself. The first chapter examines the donation process and gives perspectives on blood from both donors and...

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