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Tattooers at work. An emotional and permanent body labor

Dustin Kiskaddon (2021)

In: Maxine Leeds Craig (ed.):  The Routledge Companion to Beauty Politics. London: Routledge

Abstract. Based on two years of working as a tattooer, this chapter frames tattooing as an emotional and permanent body labor. It highlights the emotional and bodily demands of tattoo labor while offering an historically informed review of research on tattoos and tattooing. It approaches tattooers as agents in the production of culture, whose work is guided by conventions and whose identification maps variously onto categories of artist and artisan. Explored as a male-dominated occupational practice, this chapter addresses gendered dynamics of exclusion in the tattoo world and concludes by suggesting that further research on “permanence” as it relates to tattooing would broaden our understanding of those who do tattoos.

Link to the chapter