Constructions of regulation and social norms of tattooed female bodies

Charlotte Dann, Samantha Holland (Editor), Karl Spracklen (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


Over the last decade, there has been a substantial rise in the popularity of tattooing in the UK, and a subsequent increase in tattooed female bodies. As explored by Walter (2010), key for the women of today is that they have a choice, to conform to stereotypical constructions of femininity, or resist them. However, tension lies in the ways that these choices are already constrained by socially imposed boundaries. In exploring constructions of tattooed female bodies, a stratified sample of 14 tattooed women were interviewed, with the transcripts being analysed using a discursive–narrative approach. Reflexivity forms a key part of the analysis, as I research a tattooed woman, with some of the insider–outsider intersections informing the analysis. Here, the discourse of unwritten rules and social norms is explored, with a specific focus on how tattooed women construct ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ choices in respect to the tattoos they and others get, the expectation and the normalisation of the pain of getting and having a tattoo, and finally, the generational difference in respect to how tattoos are accepted and understood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSubcultures, Bodies and Spaces: Essays on Alternativity and Marginalization
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)9781787565128
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2018


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