This essay explores the differences between a practice called body modification and the behaviour known as self-injury (or self-harm, self-inflicted injury, self-mutilation, etc.), in which individuals purposefully harm themselves to get relief from strong emotion or in an attempt to gain control over themselves or their emotions. Although some consider both self-injury and body modification to be synonymous, I argue that self-injury is more like an addiction to many sufferers, making it like a mental illness or a disease. I use a narrative interview with a friend called 'Eva' to illustrate these differences from a self-harmer's point of view, and hope to show that while body modifiers are often proud of their transformations and view the process as a rite, self-harmers, in contrast, are often secretive and ashamed of their behaviour or addiction.

Anthropology in Action

Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 44 37 5
PDF Downloads 66 54 9