(late) summer reading

A long chain of internet whatnot starting with some thoughts of Foucault lead me to a book called Under the Medical Gaze: Facts and Fictions of Chronic Pain by Susan Greenhalgh. Dr. Greenhalgh is a professor of Anthropology at UC Irvine.


A preview is available at Google Books. I’ll let you know what I think after I get it from the university library. It certainly sounds interesting.

Excerpted from the book’s description at the University of California Press:
This compelling account of the author’s experience with a chronic pain disorder and subsequent interaction with the American health care system goes to the heart of the workings of power and culture in the biomedical domain. It is a medical whodunit full of mysterious misdiagnosis, subtle power plays, and shrewd detective work. Setting a new standard for the practice of autoethnography, Susan Greenhalgh presents a case study of her intense encounter with an enthusiastic young specialist who, through creative interpretation of the diagnostic criteria for a newly emerging chronic disease, became convinced she had a painful, essentially untreatable, lifelong muscle condition called fibromyalgia.

Greenhalgh ultimately learns that she had been misdiagnosed and begins the long process of undoing the physical and emotional damage brought about by her nearly catastrophic treatment. In considering how things could go so awry, she embarks on a cogent and powerful analysis of the sociopolitical sources of pain through feminist, cultural, and political understandings of the nature of medical discourse and practice in the United States.

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1 Comment

  1. sounds like a very interesting read. . .

    Reply

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