Pain in one form or another is probably the most common symptom presented to medical and healthcare professionals, and while for many individuals it consists of a transient episode, for others it is long term and impacts on many aspects of their lives. Traditionally pain has been studied from biomedical or psychological perspectives which may pay less attention to the importance of context, but in recent years a sociology of pain has emerged which gives precedence to the way individuals account for and make sense of pain.
This concise and accessible volume explores structural and interpretive perspectives on pain. It draws upon sociological concepts and empirical data to challenge the assumed objectivity of a biomedical approach, and to give voice to those who actually experience pain. Clearly demonstrating how structural factors such as gender, age, and culture are crucial in explaining how pain is experienced, Elaine Denny offers students a sociological lens through which to view issues such as legitimation, stigma, embodiment, and contest and their relevance for an exploration of pain. The result is an illuminating volume for students of health and medical professions studying pain, the body, and the sociology of health and illness.