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By Mara Buchbinder

Even if soreness is a common human adventure, many view the discomfort of others as deepest, immune to language, and, as a result, basically unknowable. And, but, regardless of the most obvious limits to comprehending another’s inner kingdom, language is all that we have got to translate ache from the solitary and unknowable to a phenomenon richly defined in literature, drugs, and lifestyle. with out denying the non-public dimensions of ache, All on your Head bargains a wholly clean standpoint that considers how discomfort could be configured, controlled, defined, or even skilled in deeply relational ways.

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a pediatric ache medical institution in California, Mara Buchbinder explores how clinicians, adolescent sufferers, and their households make experience of difficult signs and paintings to relieve ache. via cautious realization to the language of pain—including narratives, conversations, versions, and metaphors—and distinct research of ways younger ache victims make that means via interactions with others, her e-book unearths that notwithstanding inner most ache could be, making experience of it really is profoundly social.

NOTE: the writer doesn't hypocritically tackle the difficulty of male neonatal circumcision, possibly simply because she is Jewish?

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Extra info for All in Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain

Sample text

Approaching pain in this way enables us to situate a putative private experience within an intersubjective milieu and to understand how both experiencing and responding to pain is a deeply relational enterprise. Furthermore, I understand the explanation of pain to be fundamentally at stake in the plea for acknowledgment alluded to above. 59 Explanatory Roadblocks If chronic pain represents a failure of medicine, as several analysts have suggested,60 then this failure can be read partially as a failure of explanation.

The primary treatment that Dr. Novak and Dr. Petrosian offered was pharmaceutical, although Dr. 87 There was no inpatient pain service associated with the West Clinic, but patients were occasionally referred to a pain program in another part of the state for inpatient treatment. In these respects, the West Clinic was similar to many other pediatric pain clinics internationally, within which multidisciplinary and noninterventionist approaches have been widely adopted. Where the West Clinic stood out, however, was in its setup and internal organization.

The research for this book involved a variety of ethnographic activities that I carried out over eighteen months in 2008–9. 99 Finally, in order to explore the culture of pediatric pain management beyond the specific institutional setting I was studying, I attended two professional pain conferences. At both of these conferences, I interviewed several physicians and psychologists from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. In order to get a sense of how the clinical styles of the two physicians differed, I took turns observing Dr.

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