Why Do We Hurt Ourselves?

Why Do We Hurt Ourselves Image

Why does a significant part of the general population intentionally and repeatedly hurt themselves? What are the reasons certain people resort to self-injury as a way to manage their daily lives? In Why Do We Hurt Ourselves (published in English and French), sociologist Baptiste Brossard draws on a five-year survey of self-injurers and suggests that the answers can be traced to social, more than personal, causes. Self-injury is not a matter of disturbed individuals resorting to hurting themselves in the face of individual weaknesses and difficulties. Rather, self-injury is the reaction of individuals to the tensions that compose, day after day, the tumultuousness of their social life and position. Self-harm is a practice that people use to self-control and maintain order—to calm down, or to avoid “going haywire” or “breaking everything.” More broadly, through this research Brossard works to develop a perspective on the contemporary social world at large, exploring quests for self-control in modern Western societies.

When: Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 2-4PM

Where: Room H-1154, Henry F. Hall Building (1455 De Maisonneuve W.), Sir George Williams Campus

Biography—Dr. Baptiste Brossard
Dr. Baptiste Brossard is a Lecturer with The Australian National University (ANU) School of Sociology. He completed his Ph. D. in Sociology at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and the École Normale Supérieure de Paris and worked as a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Montréal before taking up his current position with the ANU.

Discussant—Professor Valérie de Courville Nicol
Dr. Valérie de Courville Nicol is a Professor with Concordia University’s Department of Sociology & Anthropology. Her risk-related research examines the social processes by which collective fears and desires come into being, with a focus on processes of emotional socialization, forms of emotion management, popular forms of literature on moral and emotional danger, and psychological and other therapeutic discourses and practices pertaining to emotional health. She is interested in what is socially construed as emotional risk, in how emotional risk is collectively experienced, in what affective signs are attached to emotional risk, and in how emotional risk orients individual and collective action through its association with particular capacities and solutions.

A Concordia University Risk Research Working Group Event.