1st Edition

Constructing Pain Historical, psychological and critical perspectives

By Robert Kugelmann Copyright 2017
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    Everyone experiences pain, whether it’s emotional or physical, chronic or acute. Pain is part of what it means to be human, and so an understanding of how we relate to it as individuals - as well as cultures and societies - is fundamental to who we are. 

    In this important new book, the first in Routledge’s new Critical Approaches to Health series, Robert Kugelmann provides an accessible and insightful overview of how the concept of pain has been understood historically, psychologically, and anthropologically. Charting changes in how, after the development of modern painkillers, pain became a problem that could be solved, the book articulates how the possibilities for living with pain have changed over the last two hundred years.

    Incorporating research conducted by the author himself, the book provides both a holistic conception of pain and an understanding of what it means to people experiencing it today. Including critical reflections in each chapter, Constructing Pain offers a comprehensive and enlightening treatment of an important issue to us all and will be fascinating reading for students and researchers within health psychology, healthcare, and nursing.

    Acknowledgements.  Series editor preface.  Introduction.  Part A: Constructing Pain Historically  1. Constructing Modern Pain: "The Conquest of Pain"  2. Constructing Real Pain  3. Constructing Pain Nondualistically.  Part B: Phenomenology and Semiotics of Pain  4. Social Representations and Discourses of Chronic Pain  5. Constructing Psychological Pain  6. Phenomenologies of Pain  7. Pain as a Sign  8. Moral Pain and Knowledge


    Robert Kugelmann is a professor of psychology at the University of Dallas, USA. He is the author of Stress (1992) and Psychology and Catholicism (2011), as well as articles in the history of psychology and in health psychology.

    "Pain is the most psychological of all topics. We learn here that it has always been a conceptual, methodological, philosophical, and at times troubling challenge for psychology. Kugelmann provides a scholarly, but thoroughly accessible, treatment of pain and our attempts to understand what it teaches about the human condition." Christopher Eccleston, University of Bath, UK


    "Wide-ranging scholarship and keen critical insight are combined with phenomenological research in this outstanding contribution to our understanding of pain. At the same time, Kugelmann reaches beyond intellectual understandings to touch the deeply personal experience of pain. An invaluable resource for both researchers and practitioners interested in this profoundly human topic." Michael P. Sipiora, Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA 


    "A fascinating account of different approaches to the study of pain which Kugelmann connects with his own research on narratives of chronic pain. I liked the way he connects our personal experience of pain with our experience of living in a troubled world. As he says: "Pain [...] is not private. It connects us with a broken world". A truly original contribution to the literature." Michael Murray, Keele University, UK