Mutilating the Body: Identity in Blood and Ink

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Popular Press, 1997 - Health & Fitness - 161 pages
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Kim Hewitt explores self-mutilation through history and across cultural divisions, finding these acts "positive expressions of social custom, individualism and resourcefulness . . . symptomatic of crises of identity, religious faith, or modern social structures." In modern contexts, such ancient rituals continue to function as an avenue of symbolic death and rebirth. In her analysis of the origins and motivations of body modification, the author draws upon psychological, medical, and cultural theories on self-inflicted pain-tattooing and scarification as well as fasting, bulimia, and some performance art. She finds such contemporary acts of self-mutilation may "express a change in how society perceives marginalization."

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About the author (1997)

Stephanie H. McConaughy, PhD, is Research Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Vermont and a Vermont-licensed practicing psychologist and nationally certified school psychologist. She collaborated on the research design and outcome evaluation of the Achieving-Behaving-Caring (ABC) research project and was Co-Investigator of the ABC outreach project. She is the author of numerous journal articles, chapters, books, and published instruments on assessment of children's behavioral, emotional, and learning problems.
Pam Kay, MEd, who passed away in December 2006, was Research Associate in the University of Vermont College of Education and Social Services. Her research focused on prevention programs for children at risk for behavioral and emotional problems and collaborative relationships between parents and teachers. She served as Project Director on the original ABC research project and Principal Investigator of the ABC outreach project. With Bob Algozzine, Ms. Kay was coeditor of "Preventing Problem Behaviors: A Handbook of Successful Prevention Strategies," She was also an elementary school teacher and an executive in several community agencies.
Julie A. Welkowitz, PhD, is Associate Professor at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and a licensed clinical psychologist. She currently serves as the Assistant Academic Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Community Mental Health at SNHU. Dr. Welkowitz was previously on the faculty of the University of Vermont, where she was a Co-Investigator on the ABC outreach project. Her research has focused on school- and community-based initiatives to support students with emotional and behavioral disorders.
Kim Hewitt, MEd, joined the ABC research team as a Parent Liaison for children and families who participated in the original ABC research project, and then served as Parent Liaison Consultant/Educator in the ABC outreach project. She was Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the grassroots organization Vermont Parent-to-Parent in the mid-1980s, and has been an active advocate for children and families since that time. Ms. Hewitt received her master's degree in education from the University of Vermont, and is now pursuing a teaching career emphasizing strength-based and family-centered practices.
Martha D. Fitzgerald, EdD, is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Vermont. She was Principal Investigator of the original research grant to develop and test the ABC Program model and the grant for ABC outreach efforts. Her research has focused on prevention programs for children at risk for learning, behavioral, and emotional problems; early education services for preschool children with disabilities; and school-based approaches to special education mediated by consulting teachers.

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