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I really enjoyed this point. It is great how you show how important this intervention is but also how challenging.
I agree with Victor. It should be phrased otherwise, maybe repeats instead of patterns because this is what it is: STRs.
[If DNA testing shows that parent and child do not share enough of the same chromosomal patterns, there is no automatic immigration process to continue the investigation of the claim.]
A very good point though it is even more complicated. The DNA test shows that the man and the women are the biological parents of two of the children and the women is also the biological mother of the other two. So by proxy of the mother, the father is related to all of them too. In Germany for example, this constellation would be sufficient for family reunification. As you rightly point out it is a reality that Canadian immigration officials create and the story could easily be told a different way even with the use of DNA.
[Part of this has to do with the modern truth claims of science, and another part rests on the 21st century fascination with new technologies.]
There is a third explanation that is somewhat related to it: It is a convenient way for immigration officials. Convenient because they think they do not have to deal with messy documents and because there is seemingly no doubt about the interpretation (it seems to be a yes/no answer).
[“the populations and population-specified markers that are identified and studied mirror the cultural, racial, ethnic, national, and tribal understandings of the humans who study them” (TallBear 2013: 5). That is, DNA testing rests on categories of belonging that do not necessarily belong to the group being tested.]
I am not quite sure whether the quote works here for two reasons. Firstly, I think the argument is rather complex and would require some more information and details in order to be easily understood. Secondly, DNA testing for family reunification does not necessarily rely on populations and population-specified markers. Population statistics are still used but they are not necessary in order to get sufficient results. That does not invalidate the overall argument of the importance of the social context in which the tests are used. But as I said I think the quote goes to far or makes a different point than what is needed for the argument in this chapter.
I really enjoyed reading this chapter. It is well written and makes important points. It also adds new facets to the existing social science literature which is fantastic. Joly (2017) DNA testing for family reunification in Canada: Points to Consider. Journal of International Migration and Integration 18(2). It is more of a legal piece but could still be interesting to look at.
[The presumption of the Canadian government official was that Tashi knew about his wife’s infidelity and lied about it. However, while DNA may suggest infidelity, it does not decide family.]
This section skips some steps or explanations. Even if the DNA test might suggests infidelity (there are plenty of other explanations) it not only does not decide family, it also does not say anything about whether or not Tashi knew.
[What is the responsibility of the anthropologist to confirm or challenge these truths?]
The what question takes for granted that there is a responsibility. While I totally agree that there is a responsibility (with Howard Becker one could argue that it is quite clear who’s side we are on or should be on) I just want to raise the question whether or not this can and should really be taken for granted.
I am not a native English speaker and just wanted to ask whether the informal word kids is used here on purpose? Wouldn’t “children” be more appropriate in written English unless these are his words?
[His claiming them was not enough because, as the government asserts, refugees lie.]
This is a very strong claim and I would like to see a quote or some other form of evidence for that statement. “The government” is very generalized and if it asserts that in general than there should be some proof for it.
What kinds of confrontation between husband and wife when they know secret affair and infidelity. What kinds social practice they have been following to leave or divorce one another. Does woman choose the house of a lover when they have the confrontation in the infidelity case? If women choose the lover’s house does she face social and psychological challenges for adjustment? what kinds of practice (legal and customary) do they follow? If they choose separation after infidelity, how they divide their property? Who is responsible to look after the children. In Nepal, Jari(adultery) system was widely popular, though it is illegal. Are the Tibetan society follow such practices in the process of divorce.
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