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Suffering and Sentiment examines the cultural and personal experiences of chronic and acute pain sufferers in a richly described account of everyday beliefs, values, and practices on the island of Yap (Waqab), Federated States of Micronesia. C. Jason Throop provides a vivid sense of Yapese life as he explores the local systems of knowledge, morality, and practice that pertain to experiencing and expressing pain. In so doing, Throop investigates the ways in which sensory experiences like pain can be given meaningful coherence in the context of an individual’s culturally constituted existence. In addition to examining the extent to which local understandings of pain’s characteristics are personalized by individual sufferers, the book sheds important new light on how pain is implicated in the fashioning of particular Yapese understandings of ethical subjectivity and right action.
C. Jason Throop is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“A highly readable and engaging book, it is noteworthy not only for its evocative ethnographic depiction of an often-overlooked part of the Pacific but also for its masterful contribution to the growing scholarly literature on pain.”—American Ethnologist
“Throop is remarkably knowledgeable about Yap, strikingly fluent in the local language, and empathically engaged in understanding the lives - and pain - of those with whom he works. This book is a classic of Pacific ethnography, a grounded and subtle contribution to the burgeoning literature on pain and suffering, and an important, person-centered study that is also deeply embedded in rich cultural analysis.”—Don Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz