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A negotiated rebellion : conformity and resistance in women's tattooing practices

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A negotiated rebellion : conformity and resistance in women's tattooing practices

Antony, Jessica (2008) A negotiated rebellion : conformity and resistance in women's tattooing practices. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Tattooing has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in contemporary Western culture as of late, although it is hardly a new phenomenon. Appropriating the practice from those encountered by the Europeans on land-claiming voyages as far back as the 1600s, Westerners have used tattooing to represent their identities in one form or another-- military and naval loyalty, patriotism, exotic entertainment, and subcultural affiliation. For women in particular, tattoos have functioned in a unique way, from marking the eroticized Other in the circus sideshows of the early 1900s, to a means of reclaiming their bodies in the 1970s. Feminist literature surrounding the theories of the body provides some insight into the ways in which women's bodies and identities are constructed, and how tattooing informs those constructions. The purposes of this research are to investigate the reasons why women tattoo their bodies, how women's tattoos intersect with body image and gender politics, and the impact of tattooing on women's self-identification and their relations with others, given tattooing's political underpinnings. I argue that although tattoos seem to represent permanency--they are, after all, permanent marks on the skin--they are in fact fluid in the ways in which we understand them, the meanings they hold for us, and what they say about us. What results is a type of negotiated rebellion : tattooing is a negotiated form of rebellion given the nuances and complexities of the issues that tattooed women face, namely, the struggle for authenticity within an increasingly commodified practice and the gendered nature of tattooing.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Antony, Jessica
Pagination:vii, 112 leaves : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
ID Code:976156
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:20
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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