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Durham e-Theses
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The Pinboard and the Paradox of Pain: An Experiment of Post-Epistemological Method in Representing the Lived Experience of Persistent Pain

ROONEY, LEIGH (2019) The Pinboard and the Paradox of Pain: An Experiment of Post-Epistemological Method in Representing the Lived Experience of Persistent Pain. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is about the crisis in representation that accompanies the attempt to account for lived experience, with particular reference to bodily pain in social science. The diagnosis of this problem of experience identifies epistemology as an inappropriate means of knowing that initiates a translational paradox unable to satisfy the simultaneous demands of making lived experience familiar in representational form yet retaining the foreignness of the original experience at the same time. This problem of simultaneity is not a problem, however, if it is built into a way of knowing, something that escapes epistemological conditions of possibility with its either/or of singularities. To know in such ‘double vision’, or fractionally, characterises post-epistemological thinking. This thesis draws on a relatively underdeveloped method for practicing a fractional means of knowing from post- actor-network theory, that of the pinboard, and explores how it might be usefully applied to the problem of experience. The thesis constitutes an experiment in producing a social science account of the lived experience of chronic pain using this method as an alternative to conventional epistemological techniques that initiate the problem of experience.

Through initial theoretical discussion, followed by reflection on its practical application involving the construction of fractional accounts of lived experience for five participants experiencing chronic pain (interviewed individually over several sessions), the pinboard is developed as a technique that seeks to maintain ‘double vision’ whilst inherently resisting attempts to resolve the juxtaposition it makes visible, enacting and engaging in an ontological politics with conventional methods of social analysis. This includes discussion of how the method might be transported from methodological knowledge spaces to effectively intervene on such conventional methods.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:lived experience, embodiment, narrative, epistemology, post-epistemology, ontology, methodology, ontological politics, pain, chronic pain, persistent pain
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 May 2019 08:29

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