To herald in the New Year 2016, today we feature a book publication highlight of a new text in medical anthropology co-authored by Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry‘s 2016 Honoree, Arthur Kleinman. Read our editor-in-chief Atwood Gaines’ announcement of the annual honoree here.
Out this month from the University of California Press is Arthur Kleinman and Iain Wilkinson’s A Passion for Society: How We Think About Human Suffering (paperback edition details here.) The book examines the concept of suffering as a broader social “problem,” both in the contemporary age and through history. The authors explore how notions of suffering and care are reflective of present social and moral conditions, and how social science as a profession responds to “social suffering.” They argue that enlivened discussions about care have invigorated a new approach to the study of suffering by social scientists, who no longer engage with human suffering dispassionately. This shift has widespread implications for an “engaged social science” that takes a humanitarian approach to analyzing, understanding, and ameliorating human suffering. The text will interest applied social scientists as well as medical anthropologists and scholars of social medicine, who study illness and social inequities both across time and in cross-cultural contexts. The book can be purchased in hardcover here.
About the Authors: Arthur Kleinman is a medical anthropologist and psychiatrist who serves as professor in the departments of Anthropology, Social Medicine, and Psychiatry, and Director of the Asia Center, at Harvard University. Iain Wilkinson is a sociologist and Reader in Sociology in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent.