Society for Psychological Anthropology

Subjectivity and Suffering in American Culture: Possible Selves

SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
by Steven Parish
Palgrave Macmillan 2008.
ISBN: 0230605389

This book explores the experience of suffering in order to shed light on the nature of the human self. Using an intimate life history approach, it examines ways people struggle to cope with experiences that can shatter their lives: a diagnosis of cancer, the death of a spouse, a parent’s mental illness. The volume takes readers deep into private worlds of suffering in American culture, and invites reflection on what the subjectivity of suffering tells us about being human. Addressing universal themes in a way that fully recognizes the individuality of those who experience a personal crisis, Parish shows how individuals personalize the cultural and psychological resources in which they find their possible selves.
from the publisher

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