I can even understand those who would not speak with me, like the
New York tattooist who said that he would talk to me only if I got
tattooed by him-at $200 an hour! As another tattooist explained it,
"Let's face it, graduate theses don't have much to offer, percentage-
Bodies and Social Orders
In the text, I often use the terms "North American" and (less so)
"American" to describe what is usually u.S.-specific culture, people,
and styles. While I try to be as specific as possible in my writing,
this is often unavoidable, simply because the English language does
not have an adjective to refer to the United States. I apologize to my
Canadian readers for this usage, as it tends to implicate Canada and
Canadians in statements that mayor may not refer to them.
This book was largely researched and written from 1990 to 1995 and
thus does not include many of the changes that have occurred within
the tattoo culture since that time.
Readers will notice that this book is almost entirely based on the
ethnography of the middle-class tattoo community. This is not acci-
dental. While I acknowledge that the book would gain from a greater
emphasis on working-class perspectives, my intention in researching
this project was to carry out an in-depth look at the middle class's par-
ticipation in the tattoo culture. Perhaps future researchers will take
on what I have not - an ethnography of working-class tattooing in the
United States-as I believe that only a full ethnography will do justice
to this fascinating subject.