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Grant number like: FT-13971-78

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Patricia A. O'Brien
Regents of the University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA 92617-3066)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$2,500 (approved)
$2,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/1978 – 8/31/1978

A Social History of Tattooing in 18th and 19th Century France

To study the practice of tattooing as a way of understanding the mentality of marginal and lower class groups in 18th & 19th cent. France: Why people chose to mark their bodies permanently with particular designs in a painful process, who they were and how and why designs changed over a period of time are the concerns of the study. Tattooing was a symbol of deviant behavior in French society. Tattooing among criminals and prostitutes has been most thoroughly recorded, although there are indications that between 14 and 40% of French conscripts at the end of the 18th cent. were also tattooed: this phenomenon, placed in historical context, offers a unique tool to discover the values of subculture and the dominant culture as well.