I Ink, Therefore I Am

I INkThe word ‘tattoo’ comes from the Samoan word tatau, which means ‘open wound’, and so tattoos are defined as a ‘self-inflicted wound’ (McCarron 2008). They are a permanent mark made on the skin, and have been associated with both sailors and criminals for many decades, as well as the lower class (Fletcher 1971).”

The purpose of this dissertation is to identify the negative perceptions of tattoos within society, and the consequences thereof. It focuses on many aspects within society, including the employment practices of the police and how these relate to their behaviour when dealing with tattooed members of society. The aim of this study is to ascertain whether individuals with tattoos are in fact treated differently by and within society, and whether a social stigma affects their life chances, such as obtaining employment.


‘A fascinating study. It raises many questions about discrimination and why some tattoos are regarded as positive and others as threatening, not simply because of the type of tattoo but where it is on the body. The book raises some really thought provoking points such as employers’ perceptions of whether or not a tattoo will be a barrier to being able to carry out certain jobs.’ Karen Maitland, bestselling author

‘I’m usually not one for reading research papers/dissertations but when I came across this I was immediately interested as I do believe there is also a lot of criticism and prejudice towards people with tattoos. The authors take on why people with tattoos in today’s society are treated differently is very intriguing and thought provoking. I also felt it was written extremely well and I thought it was put across in a very well controlled prospective as it never felt like the author was trying to push you towards a resolution. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and with it only being 64 pages I found it extremely easy to pick up and read in one sitting.’ Observant Raven

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