The non-display of authentic distress:public-private dualism in young people's discursive construction of self-harm

Scourfield, Jonathan and Roen, Katrina and McDermott, Elizabeth (2011) The non-display of authentic distress:public-private dualism in young people's discursive construction of self-harm. Sociology of Health and Illness, 33 (5). pp. 777-791. ISSN 0141-9889

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Abstract

This article draws from focus groups and interviews investigating how young people talk about self-harm. Some of the research participants had personal experience of self-harm but this was not a prerequisite for their inclusion in the study. Thematic coding was used initially to organise and give an overview of the data, but the data were subsequently analysed using a discourse analytic approach. The article focuses on the young people's constructions of deliberate self-harm such as 'cutting'. Throughout the focus groups and interviews, a dichotomy was set up by the young people between authentic, private self-harm which is rooted in real distress (and warrants a sympathetic response) and public, self-indulgent attempts to seek attention. This dualistic construction is discussed in some detail and located in various socio-cultural contexts. It is argued that the dualism illustrates contemporary ambivalence about mental health and youth.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Sociology of Health and Illness
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2719
Subjects:
ID Code:
66418
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
17 Sep 2013 08:09
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
19 Aug 2020 01:52