Constructing Pain: Historical, psychological and critical perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Constructing Pain

Historical, psychological and critical perspectives, 1st Edition

By Robert Kugelmann


158 pages

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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Critical Approaches to Health

The Routledge Critical Approaches to Health series aims to present critical, inter-disciplinary books around psychological, social and cultural issues related to health. Each volume in the series provides a critical approach to a particular issue or important topic, and is of interest and relevance to students and practitioners across the social sciences. The series is produced in association with the International Society of Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology