Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 15 Issue 4 (July/August 2005), Pages 255-318

Understanding social suffering: a phenomenological investigation of the experience of inequality (pages 296-312)

Abstract

As global market conditions erode traditional forms of solidarity, there is evidence of psychological disturbance among a number of social groups as a direct result. This paper investigates this issue among a disadvantaged working‐class group in South Yorkshire (England) and argues that understanding emerging forms of social suffering requires both a social and a person‐centred approach that transcends normal clinical/psycho‐analytic accounts. The attempt here is to create well‐founded terms of reference that will support investigators who seek to embed agents' case histories in a social‐psychological framework as they set about illuminating social pathologies. The paper attempts to trace the contours of pathology holistically by following its traces as they are manifest in everyday experience and articulated in conversation; thus putting agents' everyday perceptions of the data at the heart of this account. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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