I Ink, Therefore I Am

‘A fascinating study… The book raises some really thought provoking points.’


The 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.

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