The discursive formation of a scientific field
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In this article, we seek to analyze the formation of the scientific field of Genetics in the USA, from the late 19th to the early 20th century, by means of a historical perspective. The Foucauldian discursive approach and studies about boundary work developed within the sociology of science and technology are used as a conceptual framework. We analyze the process of formation of the new scientific field of Genetics, highlighting the role of the power relations conveyed in the eugenic, racial, gender, and social discourses. We seek to show how this vision of the world is fueled by the fundamental role of boundary-organizations. Finally, we analyze how these dense networks of power were conveyed in terms of scientific vision and discourses of the new discipline, specifically discussing the power of the metaphor,'genetic action'. © 2009 SAGE.