ICCA2018 panel on pain in interaction

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Type Conference
Categoryies (tags) Uncategorized
Dates 2018/07/11 - 2018/07/15
Link http://icca2018.org
Address Loughborough University, UK
Geolocation 52° 46' 9", -1° 13' 29"
Abstract due 2017/09/15
Submission deadline 2017/09/30
Final version due
Notification date
Tweet CFP: ICCA 2018 panel on pain in interaction, DL: 15th Sept to organizers, 30th Sept abstract due
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CFP: ICCA2018 panel on pain in interaction:


Ruth Parry, Amanda McArthur and Laura Jenkins are organizing a panel on Pain in Interaction for the ICCA conference, to be held in Loughborough July 11-15th, 2018. Please find the panel abstract below. If you’re interested in contributing, please get in touch with Laura (laura.jenkins@nottingham.ac.uk) or Amanda (ammcarth@ucla.edu) by September 15th.

This panel aims to bring together conversation analytic research on pain in interaction. In extensive literature outside of conversation analysis, pain has been conceptualized primarily as an internal experience – physiological, neurophysiological, psychological and so on. But as conversation analysts and their predecessors have shown, our internal worlds – including physical and emotional sensations – are rendered social the moment they’re displayed or described, and that sociality shapes how we express them and how others respond to them.

Existing conversation analytic research on pain has followed two predominant lines of inquiry. One set of studies focuses on pain as a display (e.g. a pain cry or assertion), which is embedded in the sequential and social organization of the ongoing activity (Heath 1989), can be co-constructed (Jenkins 2015), and can be used as an interactional resource to accomplish something else, like refusing to eat or convincing a child to eat (Jenkins & Hepburn 2015), sequentially organizing interactions with infants (Berducci 2016), and informing the doctor that something hurts during a physical exam when the doctor hasn’t asked (McArthur forthcoming). A second set of studies focuses on pain as a topic of talk, and the resources participants use to elicit or promote others’ or their own characterizations of pain sensations (Clemente, Lee & Heritage 2008; Clemente 2009; Jenkins 2015).

A central theme in these studies is that, when an individual’s pain emerges or is elicited in interaction, the ways participants treat or deal with that pain – and the way it was displayed or described in the first place – are shaped by features of the local context, i.e. the setting, the overarching activity and its goals, and participants’ domains of expertise and rights to know and report on bodily sensations. This panel seeks contributions that broadly explore this theme or propose others, and which follow either line of inquiry described above in any institutional or everyday setting. Our panel aims to bring together the small but growing number of CA studies on pain in interaction, and put them in dialogue with one another to generate ideas about what kinds of practices cut across them, and what the study of pain can tell us about social interaction more generally.


  • Berducci, D. F. (2016). Infants' pain cries: Natural resources for co-creating a proto-interaction order. Theory & Psychology, 26(4), 438–458.
  • Clemente, I. (2009). Progressivity and participation: Children's management of parental assistance in paediatric chronic pain encounters. Sociology of Health & Illness, 31(6), 872–888.
  • Clemente, I., Lee, S.-H., & Heritage, J. (2008). Children in chronic pain: Promoting pediatric patients' symptom accounts in tertiary care. Social Science & Medicine, 66(6), 1418–1428.
  • Heath, C. (1989). Pain talk: The expression of suffering in the medical consultation. Social Psychology Quarterly, 52(2), 113–125.
  • Jenkins, L. (2015). Negotiating pain: The joint construction of a child's bodily sensations. Sociology of Health & Illness, 37(2), 298–311.
  • Jenkins, L., & Hepburn, A. (2015). Children's sensations as interactional phenomena: A conversation analysis of children's expressions of pain and discomfort. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 00, 1–20.
  • McArthur, A. (forthcoming). Getting pain on the table in primary care physical exams.