Interdisciplinary in approach, this book combines philosophy, sociology, history and psychology in the analysis of contemporary forms of suffering. With attention to depression, anxiety, chronic pain and addiction, it examines both particular forms of suffering and takes a broad view of their common features, so as to offer a comprehensive and parallel view both of the various forms of suffering and the treatments commonly applied to them. Highlighting the challenges and distortions of the available treatments and identifying these as contributory factors to the overall problem of contemporary suffering, Empty Suffering promises to widen the horizon of therapeutic interventions and social policies. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences and humanities with interests in mental health and disorder, social theory and social pathologies.

chapter |10 pages


part I|70 pages

Genealogies of late modern suffering

chapter 121|30 pages

From naturalized suffering to futile ownership

A genealogy of depressed lifeworld

chapter 2|20 pages

The social constituents of fear

A phenomenology of negative integration

chapter 3|18 pages

Power from indirect pain

A historical phenomenology of medical pain management

part II|60 pages

Networks of depression, anxiety and addiction

chapter 4|20 pages

Depression as social suffering

Distortions of communicative and competitive interactions

chapter 5|14 pages

Networks of anxiety

From the distortions of late modern societies to the social components of anxiety

chapter 6|24 pages

Actor-networks of addiction

From reification to the emergence of a late modern hybrid subjectivity

part III|69 pages

Beyond suffering

chapter 7|20 pages

From the contingencies of biomedicine to secular ritual healing

An online ethnography of depression forums

chapter 8|27 pages

Beyond organic solidarity

From the paradoxes of late modern welfare state to the moral challenges of crisis management

chapter 9|20 pages

Ways out from suffering

On quasi-therapeutic networks