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Not TonightMigraine and the Politics of Gender and Health$
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Joanna Kempner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226179018

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226179292.001.0001

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(p.158) Conclusion
Not Tonight

Joanna Kempner

University of Chicago Press

Migraine has struggled to be understood as a legitimate disorder, even though it is currently understood to be neurobiological in origin. In this book chapter, I argue that biomedicalization has not been enough to legitimate migraine, since – even as a “brain disease” – migraine remains plagued by gendered images, metaphors and stereotypes. This social history of headache disorders not only provides an important vantage point for understanding how cultural beliefs about the relationship between gender, class and pain are inscribed and reinscribed into bodies, it also demonstrates how these factors shape the credibility of people in pain.

Keywords:   Migraine, pain, legitimacy, stigma, credibility, gender, class, embodiment, neurobiology

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