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The deepest is the skin (Le plus profond c'est"la peau): processes of identity construction through the tattoo making

Grant number: 14/13133-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2014
Effective date (End): February 29, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Jorge Leite Júnior
Grantee:Beatriz Patriota Pereira
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In order to contribute to the expansion of a sociological comprehension related to body and its identity, this project intents to overcome the descriptive dimension and to understand how the inked person attributes meaning to his tattoo, which is considered a mechanism of identity construction and identification. We recognize the increasing popularization of the tattoo and the existence of a correlation between tattoos and identity; also we consider that the tattoo, as a body modification, is a distinction and identification mark. Having those assumptions established, we propose in this project an understanding of the dimensions the tattoo has achieved as a identity construction mechanism to the inked person, considering the distinction tattoo artists make between commercial and artistic tattoos. Those are our purposes: to establish the differences between commercial and artistic tattoos, both from the tattoo artist and the inked person point of view; to understand how the tattoos meaning is built and the importance these signs hold in the self-image construction to the inked person; finally, to analyze how social markers, location and price influence in the process of choosing the images and the parts of the body in which the tattoo will be inked. These purposes will be achieved through a bibliographic and ethnographic research, as well as a participant observation in three different tattoo studios with different profiles and, finally, semi structured interviews with the tattooed persons. (AU)

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