Plasma donation at the border: Feminist technoscience, bodies and race

Jennifer Hobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article argues that feminist technoscience studies can enrich our understanding of biopolitics by challenging the body’s boundaries and focusing on mundane practices of security. To do so, this article looks to Mexicanas/os who cross the US–Mexico border in order to donate plasma in the United States. The article argues that Mexicanas/os are objectified in cross-border donation practices as both desirable sources of life-giving matter and dangerous sources of disease. The article begins by giving some empirical context to plasma donation, before outlining the conceptual contributions of a feminist technoscience studies approach. The article then explores how Mexican bodies are produced as sites of valuable matter which have the ability to make others live. The article shows how the ‘bioavailability’ of Mexicanas/os is produced through colonial and racist histories. Finally, the article turns to the circulation of plasma, demonstrating how persistent fears about Mexican plasma as infectious reproduce highly racializing stereotypes about Mexico and Mexican bodies. The article finishes by reflecting on the importance of a feminist technoscience studies approach for stressing the co-constitutive relationship between race and matter, and that racialized productions of the body at security sites stretch well beyond the body’s skin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-61
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number1
Early online date27 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma donation at the border: Feminist technoscience, bodies and race'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this