Carnival and color: The influence of tattoo shop experiences on tattoo choices

dc.contributor.advisorDaas, Karen L.
dc.contributor.authorNowlin, Sanford B.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberDeTurk, Sara
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMoskowitz, David
dc.date.accessioned2024-02-12T18:28:59Z
dc.date.available2024-02-12T18:28:59Z
dc.date.issued2012
dc.descriptionThis item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff. To download, navigate to Log In in the top right-hand corner of this screen, then select Log in with my UTSA ID.
dc.description.abstractTattoos have moved beyond symbols of rebellion and resistance in America, evolving into mainstream body ornamentation. Many researchers conclude that the pervasive nature of tattoos in American culture signify the art form has shifted from a period of artistic renaissance into a period of commoditization, raising significant questions about the changing meaning of tattoo. By conducting an ethnographic examination of one tattoo parlor serving multiple generations of tattoo enthusiasts, this research project examines the role of the tattoo shop as a place of agency for those seeking tattoos. Observations of the shop and interviews with artists and patrons reveal that by balancing contrasts---danger and safety, hygiene and clutter, high art and low art, tradition and innovation---the tattoo shop becomes a place of learning, negotiation, self-expression, and self-creation for clients seeking a place in a world constantly in quest for meaning. Through their interactions with shop artists, customers engage in individual agency by selecting symbols that represent permanence, choice, identity, empowerment, and control. Resistance to dominant social norms remains a key component in the narratives many tattooed people wish to convey through their body art, although the form this resistance takes may vary generationally.
dc.description.departmentCommunication
dc.format.extent79 pages
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.isbn9781267615657
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12588/4747
dc.languageen
dc.subjectbody modification
dc.subjectcarnival
dc.subjectresistance
dc.subjecttattoo artists
dc.subjecttattoo shops
dc.subjecttattoos
dc.subject.classificationCommunication
dc.subject.classificationCultural anthropology
dc.titleCarnival and color: The influence of tattoo shop experiences on tattoo choices
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.dcmiText
dcterms.accessRightspq_closed
thesis.degree.departmentCommunication
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Texas at San Antonio
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts

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