Prominent sociologists to discuss self-injury May 4 on campus
Patricia and Peter Adler
Renowned sociologists Patricia and Peter Adler will visit Western Washington University to give a public lecture on self-injury from 2:30 to 4 p.m. May 4 in Miller Hall Room 138.
The presentation is free and open to the public.
The Adlers are prominent sociologists with decades of experience conducting in-depth studies of social groups including drug dealers, pre-adolescent cliques, resort workers and collegiate athletes. Patti Adler is a professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Peter Adler is a professor of Sociology at the University of Denver.
Together they are the co-authors and co-editors of numerous books and articles, including “Peer Power,” “Paradise Laborers,” “Wheeling and Dealing,” and “Constructions of Deviance.” The Adlers received the 2010 George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.
Western is one of only two northwest campuses they are visiting to share their research findings.
The Adlers' lecture will be based on their most recent book, “The Tender Cut: Inside the Hidden World of Self-Injury.” The book is based on a decade of interview-based sociological research with hundreds of self-injurers – people who engage in the deliberate, non-suicidal destruction of their own body tissue, such as cutting, burning, branding and bone-breaking.
Their work uncovers how self-injury is a coping mechanism, a form of teenage angst, an expression of group membership, and a type of rebellion, converting unbearable emotional pain into manageable physical pain. The Adlers analyze this troubling behavior, point to its effects on current and former users and predict its future as a practice for self-discovery or a cry for help.
Self-injury is a practice that spread dramatically in the late 1990s and early 2000s, largely due to the Internet, where practitioners could find others engaged in the same behavior. Self-injury is most common among adolescents and college-aged young people and has begun receiving attention from the psychological community on par with the attention paid to eating disorders.
The Adlers' work is the first to move beyond a psycho-medical analysis of self-injury to include social dimensions of how this behavior is carried out and influenced.
The lecture is sponsored by Western’s Department of Sociology, with support from Counseling, Health and Wellness Services, and the Associated Students’ Cold Beverage Fund.
For more information on this lecture, contact Jennifer Lois at (360) 650-3007 or email@example.com.