In this article, I assess one dimension of self-injury (SI) through a framework of psychological oppression. Certain effects of psychological oppression, I argue, share a surprising degree of overlap with subjective features of SI, and may thereby partly explain socially marginalized agents' high risk of SI. I first discuss certain subjective features of SI that are particularly salient in agents' self-reports. I then canvass some of the literature on the risk of SI among members of socially marginalized groups. Focusing on one sociocultural analysis of SI as a start, I discuss Sarah Naomi Shaw's (2002) feminist analysis of SI. I argue that although Shaw's analysis pays important attention to certain features of SI, its reliance on White feminine socialization, and body and beauty norms in particular, is overly restrictive. Finally, using Sandra Bartky's (1990) conception of psychological oppression, I focus on three features of psychological oppression and their connections to SI: 1) self-loathing and intra-self fragmentation, 2) bodily objectification, and 3) shame over acting out one's agency.


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pp. 295-313
Launched on MUSE
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