This weeks reading was about DNA testing and the ways that it has changed how people view heritage and ethnicity. The article follows the story of Alice Collins Plebuch and her family’s pursuit in understanding the heritage of their father. Plebuch and her family took several DNA tests only to find that she and her sister were of Jewish heritage not Irish as they once believed which led them to a several years long search for who their biological family was. In the end they found out that their father was switched with another baby at birth and Plebuch was related to another family, the Bensons.
I think the article is an interesting insight on how DNA testing is now used to connect with others and even how their perception of ethnicity changes with it. However I am quite surprised at the dedication Plebuch had in finding the truth, it was a long effort on her part to reach the conclusion and while it turned out good there were still emotional complications. In many ways this article leads to the question if heritage is something biological or if it comes from where you grew up.
If I were being honest I’m not quite sure how much being biologically linked to an ethnicity defines your heritage since many people do not grow up in the culture of their biological ethnicity. Which means that they did not grow up with that experience and grew up with another completely different one. It is a complicated topic especially because race and ethnicity are not necessarily the same so what are the factors that make someone identify with that ethnicity? Its an interesting question brought up in the article.