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My final paper will consist of all the sources I found while doing my research on my subculture, which is on piercing and tattoos. Because there were so many websites that showed tattoo and piecing parlors, it was very hard for my to find sources online that went into detail about the methods of sterilization and the process of tattoos and piercing. Also, there were many books on tattoos and piercing, but it seemed like at the library most of the sources were out dated. Tattoos and piecing has changed so much from the ‘80’s, and most of the publishing dates were from then.

One of my major assumptions when I chose this subculture was that I would be surrounded with people that had tattoos and piecings from head to toe. People that enjoyed pain. I was very hesitant about portraying the people of my subject in a negative way, so I tried to stay open-minded. In my mind, I knew that the people of this subculture were different in the sense that they enjoy body art, but they are the same when it comes to common aspects of their lives. Some of the people that came to the parlor and the piercing artist are students at Purdue. So we held that common ground. The more time I spent with the artists, the more I wanted to learn about them personally, but objectivity was part of

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doing an ethnographic research paper. I started to learn more about the type of music they listen to, their brand of clothes, their lingo. Also, I started to like their attitude. They always seemed to respect the people that came into their business and treat

them like a friend. So at the end of the semester when I had to say goodbye, I felt bad that I had set up some preconceptions that could have prevented me from getting to know them the way I did, and I wanted to express that in the final paper.

Another major concern of mine is that I want to inform my reader about tattoos and piercing, in regards to the method and the process that went along with it. I wanted to have the reader walk into a parlor and be totally comfortable, because then the reader would know the process of cleanliness that goes along with the procedure. Most of my sources about that part of my final paper will come from real people, and their words will be put in quotes so the reader will know that I got the information in the first person.

Finally, I wanted the reader to know that tattoos and piecing has been in the news for a while and it carries a lot of baggage, such as what other people think about it, and what the law does or does not allow. So I went to articles that I found in a newsbank archive. These articles helped me give the reader a more solid source, rather than just a book or a person. My idea was to make sure that

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the reader will have resources to go to if the want to find anymore background information on my subculture and what they do.

Riria, K. (1989). Moko rangatira. New Zealand: Reed.

This book was slightly helpful to me because it contained many types of tattoos that were used throughout history. At first it gave me the definition of a tattoo and the history of the word. It mentioned that the word tattoo came from a Tahitian waord, “tatatau” which means to tap. It helped my understand the motive behind tattoos and piercing in the early days. I found that tattooing was a sign of growth and maturing for a man. Also, it used in the same way that we award soldiers for courage and valor. When a warrior would achieve a difficult task, they would be awarded with a tattoo. This book also differentiated between smooth and grooved tattoos. The method that is used now is smooth. That is when the skin does not rise or show the effects of the tattoo. A grooved tattoo is when the skin rises, because of the scarring that is left behind.

Fellowes, C.H. (1968). The tattoo book. New Jersey: Pyne Press.

This book was also useful in describing the method of tattooing. It elaborated on how deep the needle must go into the skin to leave a permanent mark and how the colors fade because of excessive sun exposure. The book mentions that white and yellow are the colors to look out for, because they are the most common when it comes to fading. It also states that if a tattoo is taken

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care of properly then there would be no need to get a touch up for about 10-15 years.

Glanzer, K. (2000, October). Bill would let parents sanction body piercings: Businesses would need consent for most types of work on minors. Indianapolis Star. [Online]. Available: http://infoweb1.newsbank.com/bin/gate.ex.

The article represented Indiana’s law that covers tattoo and piercing. I plan to cite some statements that were made such as that in Indiana minors are not allowed to be work. It said that without the consent of a legal parent or guardian people under the age of 18.


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