Suffering and Its Professional Transformation

Arthur Kleinman

in Writing at the Margin

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1997 | ISBN: 9780520209657
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520919471 | DOI:
Suffering and Its Professional Transformation

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This chapter studies suffering and how it can be included in an ethnography of interpersonal experience. It first studies an effective strategy used in medical anthropology, which demonstrates how a patient's illness convictions and complaints reproduce a certain moral domain. The chapter introduces the anthropologists' interpretive dilemma and enumerates the categories for the ethnography of experience. Next, it examines the suffering that is associated with illness and its social sources, and presents a case study of a person who has experienced great suffering. From there the chapter looks at suffering in Chinese culture and the limitations of a cultural analysis on suffering.

Keywords: suffering; interpersonal experience; medical anthropology; interpretive dilemma; ethnography of experience; Chinese culture; cultural analysis

Chapter.  9861 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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