The Tender Cut

The Tender Cut

Inside the Hidden World of Self-injury

Book - 2011
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Choice's Outstanding Academic Title list for 2013

2013 Honorable Mention for the Distinguished Book Award presented by the Midwest Sociological Society Honorable Mention for the Charles H. Cooley Award for Outstanding Book from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Cutting, burning, branding, and bone-breaking are all types of self-injury, or the deliberate, non-suicidal destruction of one's own body tissue, a practice that emerged from obscurity in the 1990s and spread dramatically as a typical behavior among adolescents. Long considered a suicidal gesture, The Tender Cut argues instead that self-injury is often a coping mechanism, a form of teenage angst, an expression of group membership, and a type of rebellion, converting unbearable emotional pain into manageable physical pain.Based on the largest, qualitative, non-clinical population of self-injurers ever gathered, noted ethnographers Patricia and Peter Adler draw on 150 interviews with self-injurers from all over the world, along with 30,000-40,000 internet posts in chat rooms and communiqués. Their 10-year longitudinal research follows the practice of self-injury from its early days when people engaged in it alone and did not know others, to the present, where a subculture has formed via cyberspace that shares similar norms, values, lore, vocabulary, and interests. An important portrait of a troubling behavior, The Tender Cut illuminates the meaning of self-injury in the 21st century, its effects on current and former users, and its future as a practice for self-discovery or a cry for help.
Publisher: New York : New York University Press, c2011.
ISBN: 9780814705070
Branch Call Number: 362.19685/ADLER
Characteristics: xii, 252 p. ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Adler, Peter 1951-


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May 20, 2013

This book discusses a topic which is difficult to broach, but I feel better now after having learned more of the general social scope of this newly emerging phenomenon. Having some personal experience with it since being a teenager, I can now look back to see how the lightning fast rise of the internet and overall societal flux is partially responsible for such behavior making itself felt in our generation.
Many testimonies from various patients are given in excerpts and quotes, along with a sophisticated discussion of the psychiatric and social point of view.


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