The book contributes to contemporary debates about social suffering in sociology, social psychology, political theory and philosophy. Renault argues that social suffering should be taken seriously in social theory as well as in social critique and provides a systematic account of the ways in which social suffering could be conceptualised. He goes on to inquire into the political uses of references to social suffering, surveys contemporary controversies in the social sciences, and distinguishes between economical, socio-medical, sociological, and psychoanalytic approaches, before proposing an integrative model and discussing the implications for social critique. He claims that the notion of social suffering captures some of the most specific features of the contemporary social question and that the most appropriate approach to social suffering is that of an interdisciplinary critical theory of society.
Introduction / 1. Obstacles and problems / 2. A political vocabulary / 3. The outlines of a conceptualisation / 4. Social suffering and social criticism
Translated by Maude Dews.