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Title page for ETD etd-03272017-185706

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Glynn, Sarah Jane
URN etd-03272017-185706
Title You think it, they ink it: Interactive service encounters in the tattoo industry
Degree PhD
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Daniel Cornfield Committee Chair
Karen Campbell Committee Member
Laura Carpenter Committee Member
Timothy Vogus Committee Member
  • creative work
  • service triangle
  • service work
Date of Defense 2016-12-16
Availability unrestricted
The cultural practice of tattooing has a long and vibrant history, and previous scholars have explored their meanings from a variety of theoretical viewpoints ranging from their aesthetic qualities to their ability to contribute to the social construction of subjectivity. But relatively little attention has been paid to the labor process involved in the production of tattoos. Tattooing as an occupation provides a compelling case study to understand post-bureaucratic service work, both because the product is full of social meaning for consumers and because the work of tattooing falls outside of the dominant framework through which interactive service provision has been theorized in the past. Using interview data collected from tattoo artists and their clients, this dissertation explores how interactive service encounters exist as complex terrains upon which workers and customers co-construct and communicate consumptive and productive identities. Specifically, it seeks to address what meanings and expectations clients bring into their encounters with tattoo artists, and how do the needs and intentions of clients inform direct service provision, and how tattoo artists understand, and address, and perform their work absent managerial oversight and bureaucratic control.

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