The Practice of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury

A Sociological Enquiry

by Andrea M Mayrhofer (Author)
Thesis 208 Pages


Using a qualitative and interpretive mode of explanation, this study explored the wide-spread phenomenon of self-injury in relation to the self, the body, and meanings ascribed to acts of injuring the self via the body. Findings highlighted the body’s communicative role in the symbolic expression of traumatic experiences, its physiological role in emotion regulation, and the addictive propensities of self-injury. From a sociological point of view, instant emotion regulation allows individuals to avoid social stigma, and well managed social performances in turn protect social bonds. This study shows that non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) cannot be conceptualised as simply another personality disorder or mental illness.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2011. 208 pp., num. fig., tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Andrea M Mayrhofer (Author)

Andrea Mayrhofer is an Applied Social Science Researcher who has carried out empirical studies with street-children, young adults, and with adolescents and individuals in need of psycho-social support. Her current research interests are situated in the areas of sociological Social Psychology, Social/Cultural Anthropology, and the Sociology of Development.


Title: The Practice of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury