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Tattoo, stories of the body : transgression or transformation?


Tattoo, stories of the body : transgression or transformation?

Boland, Theodora (2004) Tattoo, stories of the body : transgression or transformation? PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis explores contemporary customized tattoos in urban Montreal, through the creation of a video. The video data collection was based on detailed interviews with a group of nine participants of diverse racial, ethnic, class and gender, undertaken from an ethnographic perspective. This method, driven by the participants, revealed the world through their eyes and relied on interaction, subjectivity and personal history as a form of investigation. I also include observation of my own reflective processes. The emergent themes revealed a number of complex motives for tattoo engagement. The motivation to pursue tattoo involved decisions on life style choices, and the use of visual signifiers as records of a precise time. The images included all manner of daily activities and were embedded in popular culture. The recurring themes of death and devotion and their integration into horror and humorous motifs represented a strategy for dealing with personal trauma. The body's relationship with tattoo was a constant but dynamic relationship with the participants own history. The body's visceral nature indicated how tattoo creation is linked to both the bodies surface and internal workings. Tattoo sometimes reflected a quest for an ideal as the body was used as a site to display beliefs and affections while sometimes functioning as an arena for potential change and resolution. The study of tattoo culture offers a rich possibility for understanding the unique relationship people have with themselves: the body, its history and its ongoing transformation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Boland, Theodora
Pagination:vii, 266 leaves : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Art Education
Thesis Supervisor(s):Langdon, Paul
Identification Number:GT 2346 C3B65 2004
ID Code:7976
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:12
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 20:03
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