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Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing

Temple University Press

Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing Overview

Originally published in 1989, this ground-breaking ethnographic exploration of tattooing—and the art world surrounding it—covers the history, anthropology and sociology of body modification practices; the occupational experience of the tattooist; the process and social consequences of becoming a tattooed person; and the prospects of "serious" tattooing becoming an accepted art form. Curiously, despite the greater prevalence of tattoos and body modification in today’s society, there is still a stigma of deviance associated with people who get or ink tattoos. Retaining the core of the original book, this revised and expanded edition offers a new preface by the author and a new chapter focusing on the changes that have occurred in the tattoo world. A section on the new scholarly literature that has emerged, as well as the new modes of body modification that have come into vogue are included along with a new gallery of photographs that shows some splendid examples of contemporary tattoo art. A directory of artists' websites invites readers to discover the range of work being done around the world—from “suits” (full body tattoos) to skulls.

Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing Table Of Content

 Preface to the Second Edition 

Ch. 1     Introduction: Body Alteration, Artistic Production, and the Social World of Tattooing

Ch. 2     Becoming and Being a Tattooed Person

Ch. 3     The Tattooist: Tattooing as a Career and an Occupation

Ch. 4    The Tattoo Relationship: Risk and Social Control in the Studio

Ch. 5    Conclusion: Tattooing and the Social Definition of Art

    Epilogue, Clinton R. Sanders with D. Angus Vail

    Artist Website Index

    Methodological Appendix   


    Bibliography for Preface and Epilogue


Readers' Reviews