“It Represents Me:” Tattooing Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Social Science on 2018-10-08 02:56Z by Steven

“It Represents Me:” Tattooing Mixed-Race Identity

Sociological Spectrum
Published online: 2018-10-04
DOI: 10.1080/02732173.2018.1478351

Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Research on tattoos reveals that desire for something to “mark their bodies with indelible symbols of what they see themselves to be” has become a main driver behind contemporary tattoo acquisitions (Sanders 1989:61). One identity that researchers have recently begun to investigate with regard to expression via tattoos is race; however, exploration considering those with multiple racial heritages, that is, mixed-race people, is lacking. This article begins to illuminate this lacuna by drawing on in-depth interviews with mixed-race people in the United States and United Kingdom to examine the practice and meaning behind their tattoos. Finding both similarities and differences, both between mixed- and single-heritage individuals and between mixed-race people of different heritages, this study adds to scholarly knowledge of the ways in which various identities are being expressed, or not, via tattooing.

Read or purchase the article here.

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