Introduction: Understanding Painkiller Use in Contemporary Society

  • George C. DertadianEmail author


This chapter begins the task of this book by outlining the conceptual tools needed to analyse non-medical consumption of pain medications in order to articulate how the use of painkillers illustrates a fine line between medical and illegal use, pain relief and pleasurable consumption. This chapter will thus set out the theoretical background on which the book is based and the social conditions on which it comments. It will explore the social construction of the term ‘painkiller’, provide a summary of medicalization scholarship, consumption in the late-modern age of anxiety, an explanation of the way pleasure will be dealt with throughout the book, as well as how the research was conducted in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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