Tattoos, Desire and Violence

Marks of Resistance in Literature, Film and Television


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About the Book

Whether they graphically depict an individual’s or a community’s beliefs, express the defiance of authority, or brand marginalized groups, tattoos are a means of interpersonal communication that dates back thousands of years. Evidence of the tattoo’s place in today’s popular culture is all around—in advertisements, on the stereotypical outlaw character in films and television, in supermarket machines that dispense children’s wash-away tattoos, and even in the production of a tattooed Barbie doll.
This book explores the tattoo’s role, primarily as an emblem of resistance and marginality, in recent literature, film, and television. The association of tattoos with victims of the Holocaust, slaves, and colonized peoples; with gangs, inmates, and other marginalized groups; and the connection of the tattoo narrative to desire and violence are discussed at length.

About the Author(s)

Karin Beeler is the English department chair at the University of Northern British Columbia in Canada. She has published in various areas of film and television studies, including screen culture for children.

Bibliographic Details

Karin Beeler
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2389-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8253-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction: Tattoos as Narrative      1

1. Narratives of the Self: Tattoos, Desire, Memory and the Flesh      13

2. Illustrating the Feminine: Women, Desire, and Resistance in Tattoo Narratives and Culture      40

3. Crimes of Passion: Tattooed Bodies as a Site of Struggle      65

4. Members Only: Tattoo Stories of Gangs and Inmates      96

5. Scars of Imprisonment and Resistance: Marks of the Holocaust, Slavery and Colonization      129

6. What’s Normal? Tattoos, Dangerous Freaks, Dangerous Desires      165

Conclusion      193

Notes      197

Bibliography and Filmography      211

Index      219