The Discourse of Cutting: A Study of Visual Representations of Self-Injury on the Internet

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The Discourse of Cutting: A Study of Visual Representations of Self-Injury on the Internet

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Publication BookChapter
Title The Discourse of Cutting: A Study of Visual Representations of Self-Injury on the Internet
Author(s) Sternudd, Hans
Date 2010
Editor(s) Fernandez, Jane
English abstract
In this chapter some results from a study of over 6000 photographs of self-inflicted injuries is presented. The typical image is taken by somebody that presents themselves as females; it depicts a body part: an arm which has been cut. Seldom contextualised content is represented. Analyses from a traditional feminists perspective is likely to produce an interpretation that these images shows feminine bodies victimized under a patriarchal oppression. But here an alternative interpretation that focus on the fact that the few contextualised features makes identifications possible for many people regardless of sex, culture, class, race etc. The images emphasize the body and the wound, entities that ‘everybody’ can relate to. We should also consider the aggressive character of the act of cutting. Therefore an alternative interpretation is suggested that emphasize cutting as an act of resistance from a position that’s not necessary based on traditional gender formations. The place for this struggle is the skin and the paper concludes with a suggestion that skin is not only the place for cutting but also the actual place for discursive closure and establishing of identity.
Link http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/publishing/id-press/ebooks/making-sense-of-pain/ (external link to publication)
Publisher Inter-Disciplinary Press
Host/Issue Making Sense of Pain: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Series/Issue Probing the Boundaries;135
ISBN 978-1-84888-36-8
Pages 237-248
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) self-injury
cutting
skin
skin ego
Internet
gender
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Art
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Gender studies
Note The chapter appears in an e-book that can be viewed and downloaded from the adress above.
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/10818 (link to this page)

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