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Social Contexts of Pain: Patients, Dentists, and Ethnicity 

Social Contexts of Pain: Patients, Dentists, and Ethnicity
Chapter:
Social Contexts of Pain: Patients, Dentists, and Ethnicity
Author(s):

Rod Moore

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199768875.003.0012
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date: 02 April 2020

This chapter discusses how pain is a psychosocial contextual phenomenon, not just a physical sensation. This means that there are perhaps also social ways to defi ne pain more completely. Or perhaps a better word to use here is to “describe” pains, since defining implies limitation. Either way, the meaning of pain in its social context is the topic that is covered in this chapter. It is true that individuals in the course of their daily lives happen to experience painful sensations and learn conditioned responses to them (i.e., pain reactions). But these experiences are not devoid of social influences in the form of beliefs and learned expectations that a person has grown up with in the context of family and ethnic background that create an emotional meaning for the pain. That is, pain reactions must be seen in the social context within which they occur in order to fully understand them.

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