Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Richard G. Jones, Jr.


The following thesis consists of a research project that seeks to understand how individuals construct personal identities through tattoos. The thesis contains background information on why the author has a personal connection and interest with the subject. The thesis also includes a review of the literature that informs the readers about the origins of tattoos, historicization of tattoos, cultural appropriation and commodification, motivations for tattooing, tattoos and the body, and identity construction. There is also a methods section that explains how the author utilized the interviewing process to gather and conduct research in the field to answer the research question: How do people with tattoos construct and communicate their identities through their tattoos? Lastly, the thesis concludes with an analysis section that provides the readers with the authors findings. The findings consist of interviewees' responses to how their tattoos construct their identities. Those who gave consent to be photographed have kindly allowed pictures of their tattoos to be included in the research process.