Features

The social framing of diagnoses and empathetic listening

The account that follows depicts a visit with my neurologist. The visit was one of many within a five-month period of navigating various medical spaces to get to the bottom of the illness that was ailing me. It speaks to the systemic and cultural dimensions of illness that threaten to undermine medical understandings, diagnosis and treatment, alongside personal narratives of …

Books

Mara Buchbinder’s “All In Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain”

all in your head coverAll In Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain

by Mara Buchbinder

University of California Press, 2015, 256 pages

 

Pain has a famously intangible quality. To paraphrase Elaine Scarry, for the person in pain, “having pain” can be wholly consuming and experienced as concrete reality. But for all its “there-ness,” pain is difficult to pin down, measure and describe. …

Books

When Risk, Doubt, and Difference Converge: A Review Essay

On Immunity: An Inoculation
By Eula Biss
Graywolf Press, 2014, 205 pp.

The End of Normal: Identity in a Biocultural Era
By Lennard J. Davis
University of Michigan Press, 2013, 155 pp.

Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks
By Jordynn Jack
University of Illinois Press, 2014, 306 pp.

 

Disability themes have become an increasingly central figure …

Features

Summer Roundup: The Ethnographic Case, Part 1

In June, we debuted an extensive new series on Somatosphere, The Ethnographic Case. Edited by Emily Yates-Doerr and Christine Labuski, the series is organized on an expanding, virtual bookCASE, with each individual piece expanding our understanding of case studies — what they are, what they can teach us, and what work they do shaping both our objects of …

Books

Annemarie Jutel’s Putting a Name to It: Diagnosis in Contemporary Society

31mSK7WRhXL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Putting a Name to It: Diagnosis in Contemporary Society

by Annemarie Jutel

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. 175 pages.

 

When we treat diagnosis as simply a medical issue, we mask the tremendous social power involved in putting a name to human suffering. When we transform phenomenological experiences into discrete labels and then treat those labels as reality, we cram …

Features

Diagnostics for Development

Having been left in the long grass for several years while donors, activists, governments and public health experts focused on the question of access to vital medicines, the issue of diagnosis is today at the very top of the global health agenda. The rise of diagnosis as a global health issue has tracked its reformulation into a question of access …