Not Tonight: Migraine And The Politics Of Gender And Health by Joanna KempnerNot Tonight: Migraine And The Politics Of Gender And Health by Joanna Kempner

Not Tonight: Migraine And The Politics Of Gender And Health

byJoanna Kempner

Paperback | October 8, 2014

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Pain. Vomiting. Hours and days spent lying in the dark. Migraine is an extraordinarily common, disabling, and painful disorder that affects over 36 million Americans and costs the US economy at least $32 billion per year. Nevertheless, it is frequently dismissed, ignored, and delegitimized.

In Not Tonight, Joanna Kempner argues that this general dismissal of migraine can be traced back to the gendered social values embedded in the way we talk about, understand, and make policies for people in pain. Because the symptoms that accompany headache disorders-like head pain, visual auras, and sensitivity to sound-lack an objective marker of distress that can confirm their existence, doctors rely on the perceived moral character of their patients to gauge how serious their complaints are. Kempner shows how this problem plays out in the history of migraine, from nineteenth-century formulations of migraine as a disorder of upper-class intellectual men and hysterical women to the influential concept of "migraine personality" in the 1940s, in which women with migraine were described as uptight neurotics who withheld sex, to contemporary depictions of people with highly sensitive "migraine brains." Not Tonight casts new light on how cultural beliefs about gender, pain, and the distinction between mind and body influence not only whose suffering we legitimate, but which remedies are marketed, how medicine is practiced, and how knowledge about disease is produced.
Joanna Kempner is assistant professor of sociology and an affiliate of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers University.
Title:Not Tonight: Migraine And The Politics Of Gender And HealthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 8, 2014Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022617915X

ISBN - 13:9780226179155

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. All in Her Mind
Chapter 2. All in Her Brain
Chapter 3. Embracing the Migraine Brain
Chapter 4. Gendering the Migraine Market
Chapter 5. Men in Pain
Appendix A. International Classification of Headache Disorders
Appendix B. Methods

Editorial Reviews

“Thoroughly engaging. . . . Not Tonight allows us to see how gender and illegitimacy intersect, and how the character of people with migraine, most of whom are women, is questioned in ways that render their diagnosis and treatment less important.”