Inviting pain? Pain, dualism and embodiment in narratives of self-injury

Chandler, Amy (2013) Inviting pain? Pain, dualism and embodiment in narratives of self-injury. Sociology of Health and Illness, 35 (5). pp. 716-730. ISSN 0141-9889

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01523.x

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Abstract

The role of pain in the practice of self-injury is not straightforward. Existing accounts suggest that self-injury does not cause 'physical' pain, however self-injury is also said to alleviate 'emotional' pain by inflicting 'physical' pain. This article explores these tensions using sociological theories regarding the socio-cultural and subjective nature of pain. Analysis derives from in-depth, life-story interviews carried out in the UK with people who had self-injured. Findings contribute to on-going debates within social science regarding the nature of pain. Participants' narratives about pain and self-injury both drew on and challenged dualistic models of embodiment. I suggest that self-injury offers a unique case on which to extend existing theoretical work, which has tended to focus on pain as an unwanted and uninvited entity. In contrast, accounts of self-injury can feature pain as a central aspect of the practice, voluntarily invited into lived experience. © 2013 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2013 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords:adult, article, automutilation, female, human, interview, literature, male, pain, psychological aspect, self concept, Adult, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Personal Narratives as Topic, Self Concept, Self-Injurious Behavior, Young Adult
Subjects:L Social studies > L390 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:18700
Deposited On:26 Jan 2016 13:23

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