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Review of my dissertation proposal and research so far

When considering the topic and title of my dissertation i went back and forth a few different ideas, as i wanted to research and write about something that flares my interest and also something that can be readily and thoroughly researched. my initial idea was to write about something related to the fashion world, maybe test a link between today’s latest trends/celebrities and young adults, research the positive and negative effects that celebrities and fashion have on today’s teenagers and young adults. after thinking about this more i decided that given my course, possibly a few of my peers would be covering a similar subject and i wanted to go for something a little different. I wrote a list of things that interested me enough to want to write about, including music, women’s retro fashion, movies, tattoos and Elvis Presley, i toyed with a few of these idea and decided to go with tattooed women. As a tattooed woman, i have experienced and questioned the reactions, comments and different views society have on us decorated ladies. I’ve had many flattering and kind remarks about my choice of tattoos, with people being very interested in every process, from the influences and stories behind my art to the pain and cost of them. Whilst i love and am comfortable in my own skin, i have often questioned whether the choices to have tattoos may hold be back or prevent me from things such as job opportunities, partners and other things that you can be discriminated in. Still to this day, this week to be exact, wonder in i should wear long sleeves and trousers at interviews to avoid my tattoos being seen. this leaves me asking why? how long has this been a problem for? will it continue to be a problem? will society ever fully accept the growing urge to be decorated and modified? This train of thought then led me to wonder whether these issues vary from man to woman. I had then found my topic, i’m not definite on the title yet but i’ve decided with something along the lines of ‘How are tattooed women perceived by society, what effects had it had and how has it changed over the last 50 years’

The next part of the dissertation writing process is something i’ve been a little apprehensive about the initial research to get the ball rolling. I made a not of what techniques i could use for gathering the most useful research, the first naturally being online and books, but i want to have a more varied approach so i have decided to conduct a number of questionnaires, surveys and interviews. I hope to get a range of views and answers from different types of people, my current ideas are to compile a survey on how tattooed women and ‘seen’ and ask the same number of both men and women, a questionnaire and ask both tattooed men and women of their experiences of discrimination and how they think being inked could have both negative and positive effects, and i’d like to interview some female tattoo artists using some carefully planned questions. My hope is that this method of primary research will provide the answers i need to discuss and argue some valid idea, as i am struggling to find many books that particularly highlight my topic.

If im honest i’m not too confident at being thorough in the library so started my research online, trying to find books related to my title assuming that there would be plenty, but i came to find that there aren’t as many as i thought, there are bundles on the art and history of tattooing, but not much that points particularly to women. The one title that i found that seems to cover all the things i’d like to talk about is Margot Mifflins Bodies of Subversion, its the fist of its kind, first published in the 1990s with 3 editions. I have ordered the book as it has an extensive history of tattooed women starting from the 1900s. I have found and bought other books and i am due a session in the library to help me find journals. With my primary research of interviews and surveys and found books i hope to have an extensive collection of evidence and facts that will help me write an interesting and unique dissertation.

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