1st Edition

Empty Suffering A Social Phenomenology of Depression, Anxiety and Addiction

By Domonkos Sik Copyright 2022
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    Interdisciplinary in approach, this book combines philosophy, sociology, history and psychology in the analysis of contemporary forms of suffering. With attention to depression, anxiety, chronic pain and addiction, it examines both particular forms of suffering and takes a broad view of their common features, so as to offer a comprehensive and parallel view both of the various forms of suffering and the treatments commonly applied to them. Highlighting the challenges and distortions of the available treatments and identifying these as contributory factors to the overall problem of contemporary suffering, Empty Suffering promises to widen the horizon of therapeutic interventions and social policies. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences and humanities with interests in mental health and disorder, social theory and social pathologies.


    Part 1: Genealogies of Late Modern Suffering

    1. From Naturalized Suffering to Futile Ownership – A Genealogy of Depressed Lifeworld

    2. The Social Constituents of Fear – A Phenomenology of Negative Integration

    3. Power from Indirect Pain – A Historical Phenomenology of Medical Pain Management

    Part 2: Networks of Depression, Anxiety and Addiction

    4. Depression as Social Suffering – Distortions of Communicative and Competitive Interactions

    5. Networks of Anxiety – From the Distortions of Late Modern Societies to the Social Components of Anxiety

    6. Actor-Networks of Addiction – From Reification to the Emergence of a Late Modern Hybrid Subjectivity

    Part 3: Beyond Suffering – Spontaneous and Hybrid Strategies Dealing with Late Modern Social Suffering

    7. From the Contingencies of Biomedicine to Secular Ritual Healing – An Online Ethnography of Depression Forums

    8. Beyond Organic Solidarity – From the Paradoxes of Late Modern Welfare State to the Moral Challenges of Crisis Management

    9. Ways Out from Suffering – On Quasi-Therapeutic Networks


    Domonkos Sik is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and alumni of CEU-IAS, Budapest-Vienna. He is the author of several monographs in critical theory, including Radicalism and Indifference.