|Introduction||History||20th Century Tattoos|
|Subcultural Tendancies||Tattoos as Bricolage||Summary & Bibliography|
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Despite this move into the popular cultural realm, tattoos and extreme body modification do indeed remain for many marks of difference: cultural indicators of social deviance for some, a membership in a cultural group or collective for others, a rejection of mainstream western consumer culture for others still. Subcultural groups like the neo-primitives have continued, through resisting the sanitized, safe version of tattoos and by engaging in bricolage themselves, to maintain a counter-hegemonic subculture punctuated by extreme forms of body-modification. Neo-primitives value all forms of body modification less as art and more as a spiritual and ritualistic connectedness to the earth, the body and the “primitive.” They exemplify the concept of the body as text. In an early 21st century world where bodies are sculpted to the ideals dictated by popular culture, the neo-primitives go to an extreme to claim dominion over their bodies in all forms.
I hope you found a tattoo that suits you. Questions, comments and suggestions can be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, go on out and get inked.
Tattoo Sources (books)
Fox, James Gordon. Self-Imposed Stigmata: A Study of Tattooing Among Female Inmates (Ph.D. Dissertation). New York: State University of New York at Albany, 1976.
Groning, Karl. Decorated Skin: A World Survey of Body Art. London: Thames and Hudson, 1997.
Hall, Douglas Kent. Prison Tattoos. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997.
Mifflin, Margot. Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo. New York: Juno Books, 1997.
Polhemus, Ted and Randall Housk. The Customized Body. London: Serpent’s Tail, 1996
Schiffmacher, Hank and Burkhard Riemschneider (compilers). Tattoos. Köln: Taschen, 2001.
Scutt, R.W.B. and Christopher Gotch. Art, Sex and Symbol: The Mystery of Tattooing. New York: Cornwall Books, 1974.
Tattoo Sources (edited compilations)
Caplan, Jane (Ed.). Written on the Body: the Tattoo in European and American History. London: Reaktion Books, 2000.
Siebers, Tobin (Ed.). The Body Aesthetic: From Fine Art to Body Modification. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.
Wojcik, Daniel. Punk and Neo-Tribal Body Art. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.
Tattoo Sources (articles/essays)
Benson, Susan. “Inscriptions of the self: reflections on tattooing and piercing in contemporary Euro-America.” In, Jane Caplan (ed.), Written on the Body: the Tattoo in European and American History. London: Reaktion Books, 2000.
Caplan, Jane. “Introduction.” In, Jane Caplan (Ed.), Written on the Body: the Tattoo in European and American History. London: Reaktion Books, 2000.
Demello, Margo. “The convict body: tattooing among male American prisoners.” Anthropology Today 9:10-13, 1993.
Featherstone, Mike. “Body modification: an introduction.” In, Mike Featherstone (ed.), Body Modification. London: Sage Publications, 2000.
Gans, Eric. “The body sacrificial.” In, Tobin Siebers (ed.), The body aesthetic: from fine art to body modification. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.
Gustafson, Mark. “The tattoo in the later Roman Empire and beyond,” in Jane Caplan (ed.), Written on the Body. London: Reaktion Books, 2000.
Govenar, Alan. “The changing image of tattooing in American culture.” In, Jane Caplan (ed.), Written on the Body. London: Reaktion Books, 2000.
Klesse, Christian. “Modern primitivism: non-mainstream body modification and racialized representation.” In, Mike Featherstone (ed.), Body Modification. London: Sage Publications, 2000.
MacQuarrie, Charles W. “Insular Celtic tattooing: history, myth and metaphor.” In, Jane Caplan (ed.), Written on the Body. London: Reaktion Books, 2000.
Mascia-Lees, Francis and Patricia Sharpe. “The marked and the un(re)marked: tattoo and gender in theory and narrative.” In, Francis Mascia-Lee and Patricia Sharpe (eds.), Tattoo, torture, mutilation, and adornment: the denaturalization of the body in culture and text. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.
Pitts, Victoria. “Body modification, self-mutilation and agency in media accounts of a subculture.” In, Mike Featherstone (ed.), Body Modification. London: Sage Publications, 2000.
Rosenblatt, Daniel. “The antisocial skin: structure, resistance and ‘Modern Primitive’ adornment in the United States.” Cultural Anthropology 12: 287-334, 1997.
Sweetman, Paul. “Anchoring the (postmodern) self? Body modification, fashion and identity.” In, Mike Featherstone (ed.), Body Modification. London: Sage Publications, 2000.
Vail, D. Angus. “Tattoos are like potato chips… you can’t have just one: the process of becoming and being a collector.” Deviant Behavior 20: 253-273, 1999.
Material Culture Studies/Models
Prown, Jules. “On the 'art' in artifacts.” In, Living in a Material World: Canadian and American Approaches to Material Culture, Gerald L. Pocius, ed. St. John's: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1991.
Subculture & Popular Culture Sources
Breward, Christopher. “Style and subversion: postwar poses and the neo-Edwardian suit in mid-twentieth-century Britain.” Gender & History14/3:560-583, 2002.
Brake, Michael. Comparative Youth Culture: The Sociology of Youth Cultures and Youth Subcultures in America, Britain and Canada. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.
Gans, Herbert J. Popular Culture and High Culture. New York: Basic Books, 1999.
Mains, Geoff. Urban Aboriginals: A Celebration of Leather Sexuality. San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1984.
Thompson, Mark. Leatherfolk: radical sex, people, politics, and practice. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1992.
Nolan, Christopher (Director). Memento. USA: Columbia Tri-Star, 2000.
Scorsese, Martin (Director). Cape Fear. USA: Universal Studios, 1991.
Carfax Abbey: The Horror Film Database (website).
Hemingson, Vincent Errol et al. The Vanishing Tattoo (website).
Hewer, Tony. INKED: A Material Culture Study of the Tattoo (website).