Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art

By Michael M. Atkinson

© 2003

Tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among young people. While tattooing is used as a symbol of personal identity and social communication, there has been little sociological study of the phenomenon. In Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art, tattoo enthusiasts share their stories about their bodies and tattooing experiences. Michael Atkinson shows how enthusiasts negotiate and celebrate their 'difference' as it relates to the social stigma attached to body art – how the act of tattooing is as much a response to the stigma as it is a form of personal expression – and how a generation has appropriated tattooing as its own symbol of inclusiveness. Atkinson further demonstrates how the displaying of tattooed bodies to others – techniques of disclosure, justification, and representation – has become a part of the shared experience.

Cultural sensibilities about tattooing are discussed within historical context and in relation to broader trends in body modification, such as cosmetic surgery, dieting, and piercing. The author also employs research from a number of disciplines, as well as contemporary sociological and postmodern theory to analyse the enduring social significance of body art.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 376 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP001972

  • PUBLISHED JUL 2003

    From: $37.46

    Regular Price: $49.95

    ISBN 9780802085689
  • PUBLISHED JUN 2003

    From: $91.50

    Regular Price: $122.00

Quick Overview

Cultural sensibilities about tattooing are discussed within historical context and in relation to broader trends in body modification, such as cosmetic surgery, dieting, and piercing.

Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art

By Michael M. Atkinson

© 2003

Tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among young people. While tattooing is used as a symbol of personal identity and social communication, there has been little sociological study of the phenomenon. In Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art, tattoo enthusiasts share their stories about their bodies and tattooing experiences. Michael Atkinson shows how enthusiasts negotiate and celebrate their 'difference' as it relates to the social stigma attached to body art – how the act of tattooing is as much a response to the stigma as it is a form of personal expression – and how a generation has appropriated tattooing as its own symbol of inclusiveness. Atkinson further demonstrates how the displaying of tattooed bodies to others – techniques of disclosure, justification, and representation – has become a part of the shared experience.

Cultural sensibilities about tattooing are discussed within historical context and in relation to broader trends in body modification, such as cosmetic surgery, dieting, and piercing. The author also employs research from a number of disciplines, as well as contemporary sociological and postmodern theory to analyse the enduring social significance of body art.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 376 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    'Any research on tattoos should start with Atkinson's book. This is the most complete book on the subject I have read.'


    Arthur W. Frank, Department of Sociology, University of Calgary
  • Author Information

    Michael Atkinson is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University.

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