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The Injury and the Wound: Facing the Corporeality of Self-Injury

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Abstract

In this chapter I present an analysis which illustrates the embodied approach taken in Self-injury, Medicine and Society by focusing on two case studies, of sorts. Firstly, I address ‘genesis stories’, or narratives provided by participants of their initial forays into self-injuring practices. Secondly, I consider the role of pain in narratives about self-injury. Running through each of these cases is a concern with duality – narratives grapple with problematic distinctions between outside and inside, pain and pleasure, body and emotion. This reflects enduring dualistic models of understanding embodiment, and I argue that accounts of self-injury indicate both the persistence of such dualisms, and significant challenges. Biomedical knowledge about self-injury emerges in these accounts, via talk about endorphins, and the pleasure and success of the practice. The self-injured body is narrated as an assemblage: of increasingly circulating formula stories about the nature of the practice of self-injury; of neurochemical substances; of tools – razors, heat, knives – which interact with the surface, the ‘outside’ of the body.

Keywords

Emotional Distress Physical Pain Borderline Personality Disorder Emotional Pain Magazine Article 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LincolnLincolnUK

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