Culture, Mind, and Society

Subjectivity and Suffering in American Culture

Possible Selves

Authors: Parish, S.

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About this book

Winner ofThe Boyer Prize from the Society for Psychological Anthropology!!! This book explores the experience of suffering in order to shed light on the nature of the human self. Using an intimate life history approach, it examines ways people struggle to cope with experiences that can shatter their lives: a diagnosis of cancer, the death of a spouse, a parent s mental illness. The volume takes readers deep into private worlds of suffering in American culture, and invites reflection on what the subjectivity of suffering tells us about being human. Addressing universal themes in a way that fully recognizes the individuality of those who experience a personal crisis, Parish shows how individuals personalize the cultural and psychological resources in which they find their possible selves.

About the authors

Steven M. Parish is Associate Professor of Anthropology atUniversity of California, San Diego.

Reviews

"Ultimately, this book is about intersubjectivity - the inextricable joining of self-knowledge, interpersonal relations and social participation. Again and again, Parish notes that the self is defined by other selves, and then by suffering. The important contribution of his work is to show the ways in which memory, inwardness and emotion are part of the intersubjective as well. In doing so, Parish shows what a human being can bring to suffering (p. 172) and adds much to an existential anthropology." - Ethos

"A deeply moving and disturbing reflection on suffering and its impact on the self. Parish describes the way intense suffering galvanizes an emotional response around which a sense of self will coalesce. This personal, poetic book is a striking contrast to standard academic fare." - T.M. Luhrmann, Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University and author of Two Minds: An Anthropologist Looks at Psychiatric Illness

"A work of rare gravity and sensibility. Through several case studies, including an extraordinary, searing reflection on his own passage through the cancer ward, Parish illuminates people s struggles to refashion themselves at the experiential edge. Parish s arresting treatment of memory, pain, love, and mortality enlarges contemporary anthropology by opening it to the vast, sometimes terrifying, interiors of human lives." - Daniel Linger, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

"Parish integrates the poetic and the phenomenological, conveying ethnographically dense and psychologically grounded realism and empathy, drawing readers into consideration of the fluidity of dreams and modalities of thought employed when faced with a life threatening illness or family mental illness. Parish engages the theoretical frames of classic leaders of the field in a compelling account of how individuals afflicted reconstitute the self." - Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Professor of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-61318-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $110.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-60538-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-37286-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Subjectivity and Suffering in American Culture
Book Subtitle
Possible Selves
Authors
Series Title
Culture, Mind, and Society
Copyright
2008
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-61318-8
DOI
10.1057/9780230613188
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-60538-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-37286-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 216
Topics