Features

Restoring the balance: Living well with pain

Like dementia, persistent pain comes with irreparable losses: physical restrictions, strained relationships, financial problems, perished dreams and ambitions. Both conditions require ethnographers and care professionals to shift focus from cure to care, from treating illnesses to learning how to live with restrictions. The question thus emerges: how do we learn to live with such ‘diseases that do not go away’ …

Features

Thinking pain

Care worker Annika announces that she does not want to go to Mr Moran. “He always complains.” “I’ll go”, says her colleague Robin, and turning to me he says, “I don’t have the intern today so you can come along if you want to see for yourself how it goes”. We head off to assemble the materials for the morning …

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

Cassandra Crawford’s Phantom Limb: Amputation, Embodiment, and Prosthetic Technology

crawford

Phantom Limb: Amputation, Embodiment, and Prosthetic Technology

by Cassandra S. Crawford

NYU Press, 2014, 314 pages

The title of this important book gives only the slightest hint of the extraordinarily complex account that Crawford has produced about the biopolitics of limb absence and other forms of acquired limb loss, the meaning of phantom sensation and phantom pain, and the work …