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Not Tonight – Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health

Joanna Kempner


Headache disorders are often dismissed. Yet migraine is a serious problem for millions of people. Epidemiologists estimate that as many as 37 million adult Americans (or 12% of the adult population) have migraine. How is it that a disorder can disrupt so many lives, yet seem so banal, unimportant and, ultimately, difficult to believe? This book addresses the complex relationship between this legitimacy deficit and the cultural organization of pain, describing the multiple and often contradictory symbols, images, metaphors, patterns, and meanings that the word “headache” evokes and explaining h ... More

Keywords: migraine, pain, legitimacy, gender, contested illness, moral character, biomedicalization, psychosomatic medicine, neuroscience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780226179018
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226179292.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joanna Kempner, author
Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers University