LGBTQ2S tattooing in St. John's, NL

Carlson-Strain, Miranda (2019) LGBTQ2S tattooing in St. John's, NL. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis offers an ethnographic account of LGBTQ2S tattooing in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador through 19 interviews, four months of participant observation, and a media analysis. Interviews took place with tattooed and non-tattooed LGBTQ2S individuals, and tattoo artists/apprentices, ranging from 20 to 68 years old. Tattoo narratives were collected to understand what it might mean to be LGBTQ2S in St. John’s, in 2018. Research revealed that some LGBTQ2S individuals use tattoos for commemoration, self-expression, and representations of affiliation and group belonging. This thesis explores how some LGBTQ2S individuals use tattoos to visibly represent people, life events, accomplishments, and aspects of their LGBTQ2S identities. Using Brubaker and Cooper’s (2000) reconceptualization of ‘identity’, this thesis discusses participants’ usages of tattooed LGBTQ2S symbols to express elements of their self-understanding. This thesis argues that these uses of tattoos elucidate the importance of visibility for some LGBTQ2S individuals in St. John’s. Drawing on concepts of imagined communities (Anderson 2006) and the symbolic construction of communities (Cohen 1985), this thesis offers a critical discussion of tattoo and LGBTQ2S communities in St. John’s.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14344
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 140-158).
Keywords: LGBTQ2S, Tattooing, Identity, Community
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology
Date: September 2019
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Tattooing--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Sexual minorities--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's--Social life and customs.

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