Katrin Amelang


Organ transplantation creates relations between persons (donors and recipients), but also filters this connection by producing de-personalized organs in an anonymous exchange. This article deals with grafts (transplants) as mediator of social connections. Differing ideas of the socializing effects emanating from organ transfer are comparatively explored on the basis of empirical material from Cyprus, Sweden and Germany. While Greek Cypriot respondents embraced the idea of donor-recipient relations more easily, German and Swedish respondents rather challenged it. As will be shown, this contrast presents two narrative modes of making sense of grafts and its binding effects. The article argues that the two modes address locally different cultural rationales as well as transplant medicine’s ambivalent rationale of dealing with the socializing effects of (de-)personalised ‘gifts’.



Organ tranplantation, organ donation, Cyprus, Germany, Sweden, donor-recipient relation, anonymity

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