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Daniel Navon

Associate Professor

Daniel Navon received his undergraduate MA in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh and his MA, MPhil and Phd in sociology from Columbia University. His primary areas of research are the sociology of science and knowledge/STS, comparative-historical sociology, social theory, medical sociology and qualitative methods.

His book project, Mobilizing Mutations, uses comparative-historical methods and fieldwork to study the way that genetics is reshaping medical classification and patient identity. It shows how the discovery of genetic mutations can lead to the delineation of new disease categories, even when they lack clinical coherence. What's more, those mutations are increasingly being mobilized by experts and advocates as both new forms of illness and privileged sites of biomedical knowledge production. Mobilizing Mutations shows how this practice of 'genomic designation' represents not only an important and little understood way of understanding human difference, but also a strategic research site for grappling with much broader issues at the intersection of the biomedical sciences and society.


Daniel Navon (2019). Mobilizing Mutations: Human Genetics in the Age of Patient Advocacy. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.

Selected Publications:

Daniel Navon (2020). '"The gene didn't get the memo": Realigning disciplines and remaking illness in postgenomic medicine'. Critical Inquiry, 46(4): 867-890

Daniel Navon (2017). ‘Truth in Advertising: Rationalizing ads and knowing consumers in the early twentieth century United States’. Theory & Society, 46(2): 143-176.

Daniel Navon & Gil Eyal (2016). ‘Looping genomes: Diagnostic change and the genetic makeup of the autism population’. American Journal of Sociology, 121(5): 1416-1471.

- Winner of the Gould Prize from AJS and the Star-Nelkin Prize from the ASA's SKAT section

Daniel Navon (2015). ‘"We are a people, one people": How 1967 transformed Holocaust memory and Jewish identity in Israel and the US’. Journal of Historical Sociology, 28(3): 342-373.

Daniel Navon & Gil Eyal (2014). ‘The trading zone of autism genetics: Examining the intersection of genomic and psychiatric classification'. BioSocieties, 9(3): 329-352.

Daniel Navon & Uri Shwed (2012). ‘The chromosome 22q11.2 deletion: From the unification of biomedical fields to a new kind of genetic condition’. Social Science & Medicine, 75(9): 1633-1641.

Daniel Navon (2012). ‘Genetic counseling, activism and the ‘genotype-first’ diagnosis of developmental disorders’. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 21(6): 770-776.

Daniel Navon (2011). ‘Genomic Designation: How genetics can delineate new, phenotypically diffuse medical categories’. Social Studies of Science, 41(2): 203-226.