Title page for ETD etd-06302002-163717

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ellis, Rosemary Lynn
Author's Email Address roellis2@vt.edu
URN etd-06302002-163717
Title A Feminist Qualitative Study of Female Self-Mutilation
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Calasanti, Toni M. Committee Co-Chair
McCaughey, Martha Committee Co-Chair
Bailey, Carol A. Committee Member
  • self-mutilation
  • cutting
  • medicalization
  • mental illness
  • self-injury
  • body projects
Date of Defense 2002-05-02
Availability unrestricted
This study is an exploration of the ways that female self-mutilation has been medicalized in Western society and the consequences of this medicalization. The goal of this study is to provide an alternative approach to the way female self-mutilation is understood—one that views self-mutilation not as a symptom of individual psychopathology, but as an extreme response to a set of deeply embedded social expectations. Using the feminist constructionist model, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five women who have participated in various forms of self-injurious behavior.

Findings indicate that this behavior does indeed occur within a social context—one rooted in patriarchal ideologies. These ideologies also seemed to influence whether the women in this study, who had been medically treated for this behavior, perceived this form of intervention as a positive or negative experience.

  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
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  rosesthesis3.pdf 311.61 Kb 00:01:26 00:00:44 00:00:38 00:00:19 00:00:01

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