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Images of Pain: Self-Injurers’ Reflections on Photos of Self-Injury
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2071-349X
2011 (English)In: Pain: Management, Expression, Interpretation / [ed] Andrzej Dańczak and Nicola Lazenby, Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011, 131-141 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Photographs of self-injury are a powerful tool for communicating pain (in a broadsense of the word, including ‘inner’, non-physical pain caused by inner turmoil or anxiety). They appear quite frequently on the internet and are often perceived as dangerously seductive and triggering, to the extent that websites can be forced to withdraw this kind of material. Publishing photos of self-injury can also lead toaccusations of attention- seeking, or competing to be the worst self-injurer. Anoften repeated feature of an inauthentic self-injurer is that s/he publishes photos of self-inflicted wounds and scars. As part of an ongoing study on visual representations of self-injury on the internet, members of a self-injury communitywere asked to reflect on the production, publication and consumption of photos of self-injury. Over fifty informants, both active and former self-injurers, participated in the survey. Prejudices about exposure to self-injury photos leading to anexacerbation of self-injury were not supported by the study. Positive effects, like alleviation, or being warned against the consequences of self-injury, were frequent,and the soothing effect of the photos was often emphasised. The answers from the survey create a complex picture, showing how self-injury photographs are part of a community culture; used to control the self-injurious behaviour, and as acommunicative device. The self-injury culture is reliant on expressions of empathy and solidarity. Pain is the basis of its communication, and, with the help of photographs, pain can be remembered, imagined and transferred. The self-injurycommunity revolves around a notion of shared experience of pain; photographs of self-injury are one of the resources for sharing and for building its communal ground.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011. 131-141 p.
Series
Probing the Boundaries
Keyword [en]
Pain, self-injury, photographs of self-injury, self-injury community, modality of pain, discourse, situated knowledge.
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Humanities; Social Sciences, Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-15786ISBN: 978-1-84888-080-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-15786DiVA: diva2:456050
Projects
Smärtans semiotik: självtillfogad smärta som kommunikation
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2011-11-11 Created: 2011-11-11 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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https://www.interdisciplinarypress.net/online-store/ebooks/medical-humanities/pain-management-expression-interpretation

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Sternudd, Hans T.
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  • apa
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