… In Regards to Tattoo Research and Culture; The Many Perspectives:
Through my career so far, as a sociologist with an expertise in tattoos, I have experienced a certain reaction. Basically, it is people, both within and outside the tattoo community, questioning the importance of sociology, in regards to tattoos (as well as embodied identity in general at times).
Without going into too much boring academic talk, I would like to make clear here, why I believe what I do and sociology is so important. The title of this blog post, already hints at the main point, it is all about seeing all the many perspectives and sides, to any given object/subject/phenomena, that is being studied.
It is akin to what C. Wright Mills a very famous sociologist in his time and after, called the “sociological imagination” (1959). An ability you hone and develop, allowing you to always be able to step outside of the context (as well as into it when needed), in order to see all perspectives of the phenomena you are studying.
In regards to the world of tattoos, their culture and so on, when speaking of my own research, work and so on, this means that I don’t automatically take sides. Just because I myself have tattoos, it does not mean that I automatically side with tattooed people.
Instead tattoos help me (which is an awesome side effect of loving and having tattoos), enter into the contexts I need to sometimes, in order to gain the best data. Same as how Goffman (as I might have mentioned before), speaks about how living a stigma can help you research it.
But this also means, that I am able to take a step outside of the context, looking at all sides of the phenomena, or any discussions that are going on regarding tattoos in society. Objectively and scientifically looking at the arguments made by both sides.
Because of this, it also gains a lot more substance and carries a lot more weight, when I argue for tattoos being a good thing and defending tattoos. Because I don’t just look at the tattooed people’s arguments, I look at everyone’s and take everything into account.
Also in regards to how I both look at the history, the personal aspect, the societal, social and governmental aspects. I look at everything and take everything into account, when I work on my theories and talk about tattoos.
I hope this has cast a little light on why I find what I do important, and taking a sociological approach to tattoos, their culture and so on.
Thank you for your time and stay awesome!