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

Scourfield, Jonathan Bryn, 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 & Illness 33 (5) , pp. 777-791. 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01322.x

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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: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self-harm; Youth; Mental health; Discourse analysis
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0141-9889
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/26947

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Cited 9 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Cited 6 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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