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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR

 

Functions of Somatic Symptoms in Interpersonal Communication: A Cultural-Historical Approach to Psychosomatics

Rasskazova E.I., Ph.D. in Psychology, Associate Professor, Chair of Neuro- and Pathopsyhology, Department of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, e.i.rasskazova@gmail.com
Migunova Y.M., student at the Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow Russia
Abstract
In the context of the cultural-historical approach to psychosomatics, a somatic phenomenon is regarded as the one that is developed within an individual's social situation of development, in particular, the social situa- tion of an illness. The aim of this work is to apply the above-mentioned approach to the analysis of the functions of somatic symptoms in interpersonal communication. It is assumed that in the process of interpersonal com- munication somatic symptoms acquire certain specific functions that, if interiorized, may contribute not only to the presentation and display of bodily sensations, but to their emergence as well. The paper provides a classifi- cation of the social situations depending on their type and content, and the type of the displayed symptom (manipulation, somatization, displaying somatic symptoms of organic origin, reaction to another person's dis- played symptoms, reaction to other people's distrust). Also, the paper suggests that displaying symptoms in interpersonal communications may bear the functions of justification, accusation, benefitting, gaining or assert- ing social status, receiving emotional or instrumental social support, and inquiring into social expectations.

Keywords: cultural-historical approach to psychosomatics, interpersonal communication, display of somatic symptoms, sociocultural factors, functions of somatic symptoms.

Column: Theory and Methodology

For Reference

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