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  • 1. IntroductionA study into the sociological characteristics and motivations behind body art- to understand the addictions/motivations behind tattoos- to exam tribal body art in order to understand its relevance within the tribe- to understand the symbolic messages of gang culture body artFor my project I will be looking at Body art. There are many different aspects of body art that I will be lookingat thoroughly. Addictions and motivations behind tattoos will be one of the aspects I have decided to examine.There are a high percentage of regular people who have tattoos, whether they be small or large, therefore itwill be interesting to know and find out what their motivations for these tattoos are and whether they havesome type of addiction that attracts them to “getting inked”.Tribal Body art is a very deep and expressive part of tribal culture. Therefore I will be looking into the relevanceof certain aspects of the body art that tribal cultures have, whether the art has a specific meaning to theperson that has it or represents something in their culture. Tribal cultures are very large and in some cases thebody art that certain cultures have is very sacred to them.In gang culture tattoos are used to, more or less, remember an event in a person’s life. There are manydifferent kinds of tattoos that a well known to many different gangs and have symbolic messages behind themthat are that inevitably can have great meaning behind or just represent the name of their gang. - To understand the addictions/motivations behind tattoosIf you were approached by two people. One who wore a suit and looked highly intelligent and one who hadtattoos up his arms and on his neck, which one who you feel inclined to approach or make a business relatedconversation with?Would your opinion of a person change purely based on the fact that they have tattoos or don’t dress smartlyon a regular basis?Tattoos have been around for many, many years and have grown even more popular over the recent years. 1in 10 people now around one or more tattoos. There are many different types of tattoos from tribal andChinese tattoos to bull dogs and fairies. People will get tattoos for many different reasons, these reasons caninclude things such as; a highly important change in someone’s life, death of a loved one or other reasons thathave helped them to become who they are now. Other people will purely get a tattoo because they think itlooks nice and they want to decorate their body with art.
  • 2. People often rely on physical appearance of another person to create their first impression of them. By judginga person on their physical appearance such as; what they’re wearing, their hair, if they have bodymodifications; can inevitably create false image of that person’s personality and the way they act. Would youjudge someone depending on the type or certain tattoos that they have?There is a huge discrimination against tattoos in the work place. A long debate that has and probably willalways be carried on about how tattoos aren’t acceptable for a work place and the person that has them doesnot look respectable or presentable enough. However when a celebrity chooses to get a tattoo the onlydiscussion is about whether it looks nice or it’s spelt correctly. “WASHINGTON – You run a fashionable restaurant with a dress code for employees and customers thatdiscourages pierced tongues and noses. You are a personnel director at an upscale department store knownfor customer service and refuse to hire women with prominent tattoos. You supervise a supermarket andrequire those with pierced body parts who handle food to remove the piercings before reporting to work.According to legal experts in employment law, if you fit any of these categories, you are setting yourself up forlawsuits from members of a new activist lobby representing the ever-growing population of those into "bodymodificationAddiction is something that is highly associated with tattoos. Many people claim to be or are actually in factaddicted to getting tattoos. There are a vast number of different reasons why someone could be addicted tohaving tattoos and more or less these reasons may apply to most of the people that have multiple tattoos ontheir body or are covered from head to toe. These explanations or reasons for being addicted to tattoos can beeither physiological or social depending on the person.PhysiologicalAdrenaline, Endorphins or pain substitution/self-mutilation are all factors of a physiological nature that caninfluence a tattoo addiction. As tattoos are can be painful the body responds by releasing adrenaline whichmost people tend to enjoy the adrenaline rush that they get from a tattoo therefore making it one of the mostlikely culprits in causing tattoo addiction. Endorphins are released when pain is caused so the pain can berelieved; they are also associated with creating a natural “high” like exercise and orgasms. The chemicalreaction between these created an increased drive and even creates the addiction that some people have togetting tattoos.Often tattooing is referred to as a pain substitution, much like when someone chooses to cut themselves orcause themselves pain in order to find a sense of control or an emotional or mental stress relief. Tattooing canbe like a release of these things for some people through the pain of the tattoo needle, therefore resulting insomeone becoming addicted to that feeling of pain which would lead them to constantly get more and moretattoos.Furthermore some people choose to have tattoos as a “cry for attention”. Tattoos can and are often comparedwith different types of creative expression such as; piercings or brightly coloured hair. However with tattoosbeing permanent they are often placed in a different category. A person that has a visible tattoo can often saythat because of that tattoo someone has spoken to them or stared therefore giving that person a feeling thatthey are the center of attention which some people often crave. The need for connection or even slightacknowledgement can create an addiction to tattoos for that person.
  • 3. A massive factor relating to why people have tattoos and are addicted to them is because of self-expression.Similar to the reason why a person would dye their hair or get a certain piercing to express the person thatthey are. However tattooing is a more powerful and sometimes understandable way of expressing yourself.Having a tattoo that represents something or someone or has a specific meaning behind it which is relevant tothe person can be seen as a way of expressing themselves or helping them overcome an event in their life or apassing of a loved one through artwork. It is not uncommon for someone to has a tattoo that has a specificmeaning behind it and is one of the major factors as to why it is an addiction.In addition, tattoos can just be a simple form of artwork. Someone could be highly interested in artwork andwould want to create a piece of artwork on their body so that they can appreciate it for the rest of their lives. .If painters and sculptors can exhibit signs of addiction to their art, it stands to reason tattoo artists, and tattooaficionados could also feel a pull that resembles addiction when it comes to getting tattoos.SocialIn a social sense tattoos are widely known for different aspect of someone’s social life. Such as; OrganizationalObligations. A person may have a tattoo to represent a certain group/organization that they are a part of toshow membership to that specific group. These Tattoos are normally related in gang groups in prison or bikergroups. Because of the situations these kinds of people are in, the want to be in a gang or be accepted is veryhigh therefore causing an addiction to tattoos.While the tattooed have formed a sub-culture of their own, tattoos have been important parts of manycultures since ancient times. Many cultures practice the art of tattooing for both spiritual and ritualisticreasons. These kinds of tattoos can also be used to specify someone into a certain religious, political or socialgroup. Even in western culture many individuals choose to get tattoos which identify their heritage with flags,family crests or other iconic imagery. This inclination to pay homage to one’s culturally history, heritage orancestry could feed an already addictive inclination toward tattoos. The addiction to tattoos through heritageand culture is caused by the pressure in needing to be accepted in their culture or to show many differentforms of emotions to prove themselves to their culture of just represent their culture due to pride.

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