The epithet Euro-American is ubiquitous in contemporary social science research. There is a tendency, however, for the concept to suffer from a ‘misplaced concreteness’: it is variously used to refer to a population, a place, or even a culture. The collaborative study on which I report here was entitled ‘Public Understanding of Genetics (PUG): a cross-cultural and ethnographic study of the ‘new genetics’ and social identity’. The aim was include, within the same framework, a range of publics, including lay and expert, as well as the media and legislation, and to investigate whether developments in genetic science and the use of genetic and reproductive technologies were impinging (or not) on people’s understandings of kin-ship. We were able to focus, to some extent, on the interface between normative and popular understandings of genetics. In juxtaposing policy and popular discourse our aim was to discern the points at which they converge and diverge. In PUG we were interested, then, in the similarities and differences in kinship thinking across the European sites in which we worked. We attempted to apprehend cultural understandings of kinship through the prism of genetics, and we were using new reproductive and genetic technologies as an ethnographic window through which to explore kinship across Europe.