Re: mutilation and ritual

mike shupp (ms44278@HUEY.CSUN.EDU)
Mon, 8 Jul 1996 21:22:41 -0700

On Wed, 3 Jul 1996, Nedra Sue Davis wrote:

> i could go on and on, but i agree with Marie Conrad, tattoos in the
> "West" do have rituals and symbolism, maybe not in all cases. i have 45
> interviews so far, and before the summer is out, i will have 100. so if
> any one has any information about tattoos they think i should know please
> post. :) thanks

I have no more information about tattooing to impart, but I do
have a modest observation. There are a lot of tattooed people
at CSUN ("lot" being ill-defined other than "I keep seeing them").
Likely reason: CSUN has sizable numbers of young Latinos in the
student body, and tattoos-- typically non-professional designs on
the shoulders and upper back-- are a common attribute in Latino
gangs in these parts.

Let's avoid sociological discussion; my point is simply that the
average college student at CSUN will probably see tattoos daily
on his or her peers. To that extent, tattooing is apt to seem
less exotic to them, and perhaps more of an individual option.

Mike Shupp
California State University, Northridge