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Med kroppen som spegel: tatueringen som dokument
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
With the Body as Mirror : the Tattoo as Document (English)
Abstract [en]

This master’s thesis has the intent of showing that the tattoo can be regarded as an individuals document according to prevailing notions in archival science. Suzanne Briets definition of the concept of document is used in this thesis as a widening definition, a document does not have to presented in a defined form, it is only required to represent an object or intellectual phenomenon and to be informative.

Tattoos are presented in this thesis as informative with regard to the status and position of russian/soviet convicts and as such presenting an individuals identity within a specific context. As documents they also provide the individual with the essential evidence of his or her endeavours in a criminal environment. Also, they have the ability to function as an individuals memories of relationships, hardships and comradeships. Memory, evidence and identity are concepts upon which archival theorists are reworking the role of archives and documents in society and culture. The method presented in this thesis is image analysis applied to a selected number of photographs and drawings owned and published by a design and publishing company in London. The image analysis has as its focus the tattoos visible upon individuals bodies, these tattoos are interpreted and made relevant with regard to historical circumstances and the prison environment. The image analysis in this thesis is complemented by litterature studies. The thesis also provides a recapitulation regarding previous research concerning tattoos within the human and social studies.

The conclusion this thesis presents is that it is possible to view the tattoo as a document, bound to an individual, which mirrors the society and culture in which the individual finds himself. It is also possible to view the tattoo as mirroring indivudals possibilities, wishes and memories. Finally, the tattoo presents itself, in this context, as a document that may represent a critique of a dominant society or simply the voice of the alienated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 79 p.
Uppsatser inom arkivvetenskap, ISSN 1651-6087 ; 135
Keyword [en]
Documentation, Identity (Philosophical concept)/Identity (Psychology), Memory, Image analysis, Tattooing
Keyword [sv]
Dokumentation, Identitet (filosofi)/Identitet (psykologi), Minnet, Bildanalys (konst), Tatuering
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253454Local ID: 135OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-253454DiVA: diva2:814718
Subject / course
Archival Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2015-05-28Bibliographically approved

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