In this Book

summary
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 traces the ruinous effects of this diagnosis on her inner world, bodily health, and overall well-being. Under the Medical Gaze serves as a powerful illustration of medicine's power to create and inflict suffering, to define disease and the self, and to manage relationships and lives.

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. She develops fresh arguments about the power of medicine to medicalize our selves and lives, the seductions of medical science, and the deep, psychologically rooted difficulties women patients face in interactions with male physicians. In the end, Under the Medical Gaze goes beyond the critique of biomedicine to probe the social roots of chronic pain and therapeutic alternatives that rely on neither the body-cure of conventional medicine nor the mind-cure of some alternative medicines, but rather a broader set of strategies that address the sociopolitical sources of pain.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Tables and Figures
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Part One: Understanding Chronic Pain
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. Preface
  2. pp. 3-17
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  1. Problematique
  2. pp. 18-56
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  1. Prologue: Finding
  2. pp. 57-64
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  1. Part Two: Doing Biomedicine
  2. pp. 65-66
  1. 1. The Initial Consultation: The Making of a "Fibromyalgic"
  2. pp. 67-86
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  1. 2. Medicating the "Fibromyalgic"–Arthritic Body
  2. pp. 87-112
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  1. 3. Producing the Good Patient
  2. pp. 113-138
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  1. Part Three: Doing Gender
  2. pp. 139-140
  1. 4. A Most Pleasant Patient
  2. pp. 141-162
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  1. 5. Silent Rebellion and Rage
  2. pp. 163-175
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  1. 6. A Depression Worse than the Disease
  2. pp. 176-190
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  1. Part Four: A Losing Battle to Get Better
  2. pp. 191-192
  1. 7. Struggling to Make the Treatment Work
  2. pp. 193-211
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  1. 8. "Accept It!" Alternative Medicines Offer Medicine for the Mind
  2. pp. 212-225
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  1. 9. A Life Shrunk, a Mind Gone Nearly Mad
  2. pp. 226-242
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  1. Part Five: Rebellion and Self-Renewal
  2. pp. 243-244
  1. 10. A Second Opinion: The Unmaking of a "Fibromyalgic"
  2. pp. 245-256
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  1. 11. The Final Meeting: A Tale of Decline and a Denial
  2. pp. 257-274
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  1. 12. Out from under the Medical Gaze
  2. pp. 275-288
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  1. Part Six: Narrating Illness, Politicizing Pain
  2. pp. 289-290
  1. Conclusion: Re-viewing the Medicine of Chronic Pain
  2. pp. 291-322
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  1. Epilogue: Speaking of Pain—On Stories, Cultural Recuperations, and Political Interventions
  2. pp. 323-324
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 325-344
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  1. References
  2. pp. 345-364
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 365-371
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  1. Production Notes
  2. pp. 385-385
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780520925090
Related ISBN
9780520223981
MARC Record
OCLC
49570008
Pages
383
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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