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Bioarchaeology and Social Theory

Purposeful Pain

The Bioarchaeology of Intentional Suffering

Editors: Sheridan, Susan Guise, Gregoricka, Lesley (Eds.)

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  • Moves beyond dry biomechanical modeling and paleopathological reconstruction to complex cultural interpretation
  • Adds a long view to standard ethnographic data and oral histories by incorporating a bioarchaeological perspective
  • First systematic analysis in the bioarchaeological literature of self-inflicted pain
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-32181-9
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About this book

Pain is an evolutionary and adaptive mechanism to prevent harm to an individual. Beyond this, how it is defined, expressed, and borne is dictated culturally. Thus, the study of pain requires a holistic approach crossing cultures, disciplines, and time. This volume explores how and why pain-inducing behaviors are selected, including their potential to demonstrate individuality, navigate social hierarchies, and express commitment to an ideal. It also explores how power dynamics affect individual choice, at times requiring self-induced suffering.

Taking bioanthropological and bioarchaeological approaches, this volume focuses on those who purposefully seek pain to show that, while often viewed as “exotic,” the pervasiveness of pain-inducing practices is more normative than expected. Theory and practice are employed to re-conceptualize pain as a strategic path towards achieving broader individual and societal goals. Past and present motivations for self-inflicted pain, its socio-political repercussions, and the physical manifestations of repetitive or long-term pain inducing behaviors are examined. Chapters span geographic and temporal boundaries and a wide variety of activities to illustrate how purposeful pain is used by individuals for personal expression and manipulated by political powers to maintain the status quo.

This volume reveals how bioarchaeology illuminates paleopathology, how social theory enhances bioarchaeology, and how ethnography benefits from a longer temporal perspective.

About the authors

Dr. Susan Guise Sheridan is an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Shereceived her B.A. and M.A.A. from the University of Maryland-College Park, and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has worked extensively in the southern Levant, as well as the American Southwest, and Sudanese Nubia. She coedited a volume on the Hohokam of Pueblo Grande, published on demography and disease in ancient Nubia, and has spent the last 20 years reconstructing aspects of daily life using paleopathology, bone chemistry, and biomechanics for large commingled collections from Jerusalem, Qumran, southern Jordan, and ancient Palestine. She ran a summer National Science Foundation-Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program in bioarchaeology for 12 years. Sheridan is also the founder and administrator of the very large and active BioAnth News Network on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Dr. Lesley Gregoricka is an Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at the University of South Alabama. She received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on prehistoric mortuary practices and the biogeochemistry of ancient human skeletal remains to examine changing patterns of mobility and social complexity across Arabia and the Levant. Her publications have appeared in many venues, including the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the Journal of Archaeological Science, and she recently co-edited a volume entitled Mortuary and Bioarchaeological Perspectives on Bronze Age Arabia with the University Press of Florida. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Bioarchaeological Research, and the American Philosophical Society, and the results of her research covered by The New York Times, NPR, National Geographic, and The Atlantic. 

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)
  • A Bioarchaeology of Purposeful Pain

    Pages 1-17

    Sheridan, Susan Guise (et al.)

  • Fashionable But Debilitating Diseases: Tuberculosis Past and Present

    Pages 21-38

    Roberts, Charlotte

  • Bound to Please: The Shaping of Female Beauty, Gender Theory, Structural Violence, and Bioarchaeological Investigations

    Pages 39-62

    Stone, Pamela K.

  • Meaningful Play, Meaningful Pain: Learning the Purpose of Injury in Sport

    Pages 63-77

    Torres Colón, Gabriel A. (et al.)

  • Pious Pain: Repetitive Motion Disorders from Excessive Genuflection at a Byzantine Jerusalem Monastery

    Pages 81-117

    Sheridan, Susan Guise

Buy this book

eBook 84,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-32181-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-32180-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Purposeful Pain
Book Subtitle
The Bioarchaeology of Intentional Suffering
Editors
  • Susan Guise Sheridan
  • Lesley Gregoricka
Series Title
Bioarchaeology and Social Theory
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-32181-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-32181-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-32180-2
Series ISSN
2567-6776
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 271
Number of Illustrations
33 b/w illustrations, 17 illustrations in colour
Topics

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