Critical Approaches to Scholarship in Pain Research (CASPR)
The social dimensions of (chronic) pain are becoming increasingly noted in the literature. These dimensions include the conceptual lens of structural and systemic marginalization, including racism and ableism. However, the field itself is often lacking those with expertise in critical scholarship where arguably theoretical approaches to such issues have been developed over decades if not centuries. To this end, we have assembled a group of international scholars specializing in critical approaches to (chronic) pain. We have called this group CASPR, standing for Critical Approaches to Scholarship in Pain Research.
As critical scholars in a space largely dominated by clinical research, we are often working in isolation from each other, even in light of increased emphases on the social inequities that shape (chronic) pain experiences, a domain in which sociology and other disciplines have long standing expertise. To help strengthen our contributions, and offer a space for collaboration, we have brought together a group of international scholars to work towards the establishment of a community of practice. Considering the recent growth in interest in health and social equity, and the identified but less understood social justice dimensions of (chronic) pain, the time seems right to amplify the works of critical scholarship in this area.
Critical scholarship is of course many things and has been defined in a myriad of ways. For our purposes, it is not limited to any one disciplinary background, and may cross disciplines. Our approach to the type of scholarship being undertaken fosters the use of critical theories, and the framing of questions in ways that challenge hegemonic understandings. It is about the recognition that knowledge is never neutral but in fact has political implications. Therefore, it takes seriously issues of power and dominance. It challenges the objectivist paradigm, and often unquestioned assumptions, that dominates much of health research. It is rooted in, and committed to, principles of praxis, change, inclusion, and resistance, rather than conformity and reproduction of the status quo. For this reason, we have named our group Critical Scholarship rather than critical sociology for example.
CASPR is an international community of practice consisting of sociologists, anthropologists, physiotherapists, and others taking a critical approach to (chronic) pain scholarship. Learn more about our members by clicking the link below.
To help strengthen our contributions, and offer a space for collaboration, we have brought together a group of international scholars to work towards the establishment of a community of practice, and to establish a webinar series which will begin in the Spring of 2023. Click on the link below to learn more about the series.
As a community of practice, we are passionate about advancing the social dimensions of (chronic) pain through critical social science scholarship. To this end, we will share important announcements about CASPR team members. Learn more about CASPR news by clicking the link below.