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Making Sense of Self-harm: The cultural meaning and social context of nonsuicidal self-injury

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter Steggals


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Making Sense of Self-Harm provides a much needed alternative examination of a potent and increasingly prevalent pattern of distress and estrangement that has come to haunt contemporary society. By exploring nonsuicidal self-injury through the lens of cultural sociology and the insights of thinkers like Michel Foucault, Norbert Elias and Susan Bordo, the book describes it more as a kind of idiomatic practice in need of understanding than as a medical illness in need of biological explanation. Grounding analysis in compelling interviews with people who self-harm and in multiple cultural representations of the practice from books and magazines to music and movies, Steggals uncovers the history of self-harm, maps its hidden meanings and traces its peculiar resonance with the symbolic life of late-modern society, eventually coming to make sense of a phenomenon that so many find profoundly disturbed and disturbing

Publication metadata

Author(s): Steggals P

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Edition: 1st

Year: 2015

Number of Pages: 242

Print publication date: 05/10/2015

Online publication date: 05/10/2015

Acceptance date: 02/06/2014

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Place Published: Basingstoke, UK

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781137470584