Jane Pryma will join the Department of Sociology at the University of Connecticut as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2020. Her research examines how national politics, medical technologies, and legal regulation affect the ways that social actors make sense of pain, illness, and disability. Her work has appeared in Social Science & Medicine and Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy.
Her current project analyzes the development and institutionalization of a “right to pain relief” in the United States and France. Whereas analysis of the opioid crisis often focuses on how profit-driven pharmaceutical companies fueled an epidemic in the United States, her comparative and transnational work demonstrates the power of moral, rights-based claims in forming an inter-professional, global network of pain knowledge producers who encouraged opioid prescribing to address human suffering. Now, in the wake of the opioid crisis, she traces how pain specialists, in different national contexts, navigate emergent crises of scientific and moral credibility. Her second area of research focuses on the experiences of pain patients, mobilizing theories of intersectionality and boundary-work to examine how chronic pain is recognized and legitimated as a disabling condition.
Her work has been supported by several grants and fellowships, including a fellowship at Sciences Po-Paris, a grant from the Paris Program in Critical Theory, and a Dissertation Research Grant from the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University.
PhD., 2020, Northwestern University
M.A., 2015, Northwestern University
B.A., 2012, Kenyon College
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