The hidden mark : an ethnographic examination of visibility in heavily tattooed professionals
McLeod, Josh M.
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Subjectauthenticity; ethnography; heavily tattooed professionals; identity management; stigma; workplace
Few social boundaries still exist regarding tattooed individuals in Western society, yet the professional workplace remains a barrier to heavily tattooed individuals today. The historical stigma attached to heavily tattooed people is still pervasive across many professional communities. A series of ethnographic interviews examine the decision heavily tattooed professionals make to "cover up" their tattoos. Focusing on identity management as it relates to tattoo wearers in a professional context, the research seeks to explain the communicative processes that heavily tattooed individuals use to negotiate professional life. This perspective will work to explore the impact of identity and authenticity on the tattooed self, the safety provided by covering-up in the workplace, and the identity struggle faced by heavily tattooed individuals when covering up.
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