Insufferable Cultural Encounters in the Work Place "Culture Clash Within our own Culture"

Essay by tattooedwomanCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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Two occupations in our society that seem to attract some very unpleasant cultural encounters are professional Body Piercers and Tattoo Artists. Men and women employed in these occupations are all part of the "Body Modification" micro culture, also referred to as "Modern Primitives" and many other titles. Body Piercers perform procedures as simple as putting a stud in an earlobe to as complex as surgical procedures implanting Teflon balls or carved shapes under the skin. (The latter should only be preformed by highly skilled and knowledgeable Piercers.) Tattooists artistically embed colored, nontoxic inks into the skin usually in patterns, designs, or intricate pictures with a tool called a "tattoo machine". Though these two occupations are completely different, they are usually performed in the same "shop" and generally undergo the same cultural encounters.

Body Piercers and Tattooists are in a culture of very open-minded, free thinking people who are not afraid to express themselves in sometimes extreme ways.

They wear their creativity and self image literally on their sleeve. Many professionals are covered head to toe in tattoo's. Some have several extreme piercings and have had items implanted into their skin. Many of their body modifications and tattoos hold deep meaning and variations of those seen today date back to primitive times. For instance, suspension is a procedure done by advanced piercers in which large metal hooks are inserted into the skin of a participant in particular parts of the body (usually along the shoulders or chest). The participant is then hoisted into the air by ropes attached to the hooks and suspended for a period of time. In ancient times (and still to this day) variations of this extreme piercing were used in Native American cultures as coming of age ceremonies and spiritual enlightenment. Some of the first...