‘Health and ancestry start here’: Race and prosumption in direct-to-consumer genetic testing services


But standing on the shores of what is known as the ‘Slave River’ near the Cape Coast of Ghana, where men and women were once bathed before they were sold into slavery, Mike felt a sense of peace instead of horror. ‘We had a ritual’, he said’ (Mike, 23andMe consumer).[1]

Prosuming (the) self


Consumption of work and the work of consumption

Today, work and consumption are notably blurred. Consumption matters are found to make inroads into the realm of work, while consumption gains traction in the domain of production. This special issue of ephemera gets to the heart of this phenomenon. Covering a range of themes – genetic testing, self-quantification, migration, popular media and modern workplaces – the contributions to this issue call attention to the ethico-politics of productive and consumptive aspects of contemporary life.

Digital prosumption and alienation


In his 1980 book The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler prophesized that people soon would customize the goods and services they consume. Through their use of networked computers, he predicted that consumption would become increasingly integrated with production, distribution and exchange, so much so that power over the production process would shift into the hands of everyday people. Mass industrialization and consumption, Toffler argued, would be eclipsed by self-customization led by the hybrid producer-consumer: what he called the prosumer.

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