Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Display, Concealment, and Social Meaning of Body Ornamentation
Author(s):Capraro, Vincent J.
Tattoo/Body Ornamentation
Social Status
Abstract:This project aims to answer the following questions: Why do some people get tattoos? Why do some people conceal their tattoos? When does someone feel comfortable enough to wear tattoos out in the open? How does body ornamentation affect social acceptance, status, and hierarchy within the community? Based on four interviews, surveys, and participant observation, the study indicates that tattoo(s) can implicate social status and hierarchies. The results point to a stratification between people with tattoos and people without tattoos, but also to a stratification and hierarchal (or honor) system within the tattoo culture itself. People often conceal their tattoos in academic or professional context when they feel it would be perceived negatively.
Issue Date:2007-05-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-08-20

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.
  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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