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Other titles in the Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique series:
Banning Queer Blood: Rhetorics of Citizenship, Contagion, and Resistance (Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique)by Jeffrey A. Bennett
Synopses & Reviews
Chronic pain is a medical mystery, debilitating to patients and a source of frustration for practitioners. It often eludes both cause and cure and serves as a reminder of how much further we have to go in unlocking the secrets of the body. A new field of pain medicine has evolved from this landscape, one that intersects with dozens of disciplines and subspecialties ranging from psychology and physiology to anesthesia and chiropractic medicine. Over the past three decades, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners have struggled to define this complex and often contentious field as they work to establish standards while navigating some of the most challenging philosophical issues of Western science.
In The Politics of Pain Medicine: A Rhetorical-Ontological Inquiry, S. Scott Graham offers a rich and detailed exploration of the medical rhetoric surrounding pain medicine. Graham chronicles the work of interdisciplinary pain management specialists to found a new science of pain and a new approach to pain medicine grounded in a more comprehensive biospychosocial model. His insightful analysis demonstrates how these materials ultimately shape the healthcare communityandrsquo;s understanding of what pain medicine is, how the medicine should be practiced and regulated, and how practitioner-patient relationships are best managed. It is a fascinating, novel examination of one of the most vexing issues in contemporary medicine.
In Banning Queer Blood, Jeffrey Bennett frames blood donation as a performance of civic identity closely linked to the meaning of citizenship.
Pain medicine is a complex field that has undergone significant evolution in recent decades regarding not just the practices and treatments it employs but in the very definition of the field itself. Pain medicine is practiced by more than 20 different medical disciplines and subspecialties, and communication across these areas as researchers, practitioners, and policy makers strive to define the field and establish standards of practice can be complicated and contentious, even when addressing questions as fundamental as whether or not a particular pain-related medical condition, for example fibromyalgia, actually exists. Technical communications scholar S. Scott Graham has dived headlong into this environment to study the medical rhetoric that ultimately shapes the healthcare communityand#8217;s understanding of what pain medicine is, how it should be practiced and regulated, and how practitioner-patient relationships are best managed. He offers not only insightful analysis of how healthcare communications in pain medicine is effectively conducted, but also a new way for scholars to examine healthcare communications in other areas that combines aspects of traditional rhetorical theory with multiple ontologies theory as it has been developed recently in the field of science and technology studies.
In Banning Queer Blood, Jeffrey Bennett frames blood donation as a performance of civic identity closely linked to the meaning of citizenship. However, with the advent of AIDS came the notion of blood donation as a potentially dangerous process. Bennett argues that the Food and Drug Administration, by employing images that specifically depict gay men as contagious, has categorized gay men as a menace to the nation. The FDA's ban on blood donation by gay men remains in effect and serves to propagate the social misconceptions about gay men that circulate within both the straight and gay communities today.
Bennett explores the role of scientific research cited by these banned-blood policies and its disquieting relationship to government agencies, including the FDA. Bennett draws parallels between the FDA's position on homosexuality and the historical precedents of discrimination by government agencies against racial minorities. The author concludes by describing the resistance posed by queer donors, who either lie in order to donate blood or protest discrimination at donation sites, and by calling for these prejudiced policies to be abolished.
About the Author
Jeffrey A. Bennett is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has published articles in The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Critical Studies in Media Communication, The Journal of Homosexuality, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and Text and Performance Quarterly.
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