SailorClaire

apology for my 'tattoo study' thread.

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Hi everyone,

unfortunately i seemed to have experienced a bit of a backlash on my 'tattoo study' thread! Also it was closed, so i wasnt able to directly reply and defend myself/apologise for my conduct on that, so this is for those who replyed to it. I hope ive included everything.

First of all, sorry, i should of contacted mods first, as well introduced myself properly on the forum. I will say this in my defence, i am on limited time scale with this research, and had signed up to a lot that day and LST was my last one so yeah i did a little sloppily.

Second of all- i am aware that this subject is nothing new and there is a wealth of literature on the subject. However it is an area that needs developing as opinions and views of tattoos change and develop in society. For instance Margo Demello in her work on tattooing has identified a change in social trends regarding who gets tattooed, indicating that tattooing today is a very middle class activity compared to it being a working class one in the 1950's. Therefore I see my work as something that adds to a better understanding of tattoos in western society rather than something completely new. I havent read matt lodders work but i will add it to my reading list- thanks for the suggestion!

Also, I had done face- to-face interviews for my undergraduate work in which i also studied tattoos as a signifier of personal and social identity. The results were great, but because face to face interviews are time consuming and costly (especially as i only work part time) i couldnt collect a huge amount of data, and therefore could not generalise the results. So, taking this into account, for my masters degree, i otpted for online research and decided forums were the best avenue for this topic, thinking that i would have a wealth of data from an already set up focus group. So i have been out in the real world to do research, but in order to have more data collected in a less time consuming and costly manner online forums was the way to go. Also ive never met a tattooed person who didnt like talking about their tattoos- i am one of them! so hopefully that answers the next question- i do have tattoos! I have 5 mostly on my legs at the moment, would have more but need to save some money before i go ahead with the ideas i have! I currently have a pair of wings on my back, a portrait of marilyn monroe on my right calf, lily flowers on the front of my left calf, a mexican sugar skull on the back of my left calf, and some cherry blossoms on the outside of my left calf. I can put up pics if anyone wants to see.

Also as for the cummunity research 101 thing- yes i got an education in it from this experience! Again, please take a look at my first point- it was the end of the day, last forum, etc i did it sloppily. for that i am sorry. Also I would love to have the time to contribute to this forum further than my reasearch- the last thing i want to do is take take take from you all, but (as mentioned above) am on a limited timescale with this and just went straight in. At the end of the day i could just look through all your posts and take what is relevant to my research without informing you. After all it is publicly available on the internet. However that is not how i wanted to conduct my research, i believe in ethics and want this research to be ethical as well as add something to the sociological study of tattooed bodies.

anyways i think thats all i have to say! read this, dont read this i dont really mind, ive said my piece.

also i wont be conducting my research on this site (im guessing most of you will pleased about this) and will leave as a member shortly.

thanks, SailorClaire.

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It's unfortunate that you feel like you need to leave. I guess this could be a lesson for everyone in contributing to and being part of the community. In life, and especially in the tattoo community, you need to give before you get. No one will just give you all of their thoughts, feelings, and time without getting something from you. That something should have been a positive contributing LST community member. Again, it's a shame this wont work for you, but I can't say it isn't your fault. You are prepping for your Masters so you must have some smarts. Apply those in a community setting and then add in how intimate and personal tattooing is. You will see why being a productive community member is so vital. There are already enough "people" who take from tattooing and give nothing back. In the future, don't be one of those people. If you continue your research elsewhere, remember that you need to be part of their community and you need to help them before they will want to help you.

Good luck in your thesis.

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Yeah. Having browsed a few other tattoo forums I think that this one is by far the best. The smartest, most thoughtful, and most generous people are here... a lot of those other ones are pretty awful by comparison.

And I think @Lochlan alluded to this on your first thread, but I would question the veracity/validity of any information you got from people who were willing to share with you without having some kind of relationship first. Is "the full GFE" really the same as having a girlfriend?

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Thank you for your apology though I must question, "limited time scale"....going into grad school you know you need a thesis so by a good advisors advising you should be encouraged to begin developing your thesis at the beginning. Of course it is going to take different shapes and forms while being modified as you go through your lit review and intro classes though people tend to stay close to their original thoughts and reason for seeking a higher education...ie you think your work contributes to a specific missing element, a unique pov, etc so you seek to add to the subject.

I do not know the specifics to your program/department so don't know how long your program is but I do know your university and some of their work so believe you have longer than a "limited time scale" unless procrastination got the best of you? Or other variables which I am not privy to.....

Once again welcome to the site and hope you find it useful if you decide to stick around and you can contribute as other LSTers have. You can always PM me or respond here or elsewhere. LSTer are truly a unique, devoted, and caring bunch in the world of tattoo forums and in person (at least those I have meet) and we are blessed to have them here!

Online research is a new thing where very few researchers have seen desired results and those who have, have had to put large amounts of money into it. The ethics and ways of doing it are still developing, it's in its trial and error phase if you will. I have found your joining the site useful for me professionally (not LST) as I am currently out of the country for a few months working on furthering a research infrastructure we have used successfully with large research funds to become available at an affordable price for the everyday person including grad students. So thank you for teaching me and helping me further my desire to be a better researcher that I am grateful for.

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As an academic who does interview-based research, and who spends a lot of time teaching people how to do qualitative research, I have to agree with many of the concerns raised in the last thread, and question the logic of trying to do this online in this rushed way. I did my own masters in the UK and I know masters courses are short there and make it difficult to engage in sustained, profound research.As this seems to be the case for you, that doesn't mean you can just do the same research project, but accelerated. It means you need to think about what you can accomplish with the time/restrictions you have, and what knowledge you can genuinely generate from that. Thinking you can ask fairly complex questions and answer them through message board focus groups is like the opposite of rigour. You need to find a research question that can be answered in the time and with the resources you have.. At my university, we strongly encourage our students to do literature based masters projects as it is unfair to both researcher and potential subjects to take on something so ambitious is so little time.

Message board research feels lazy. The only time I have seen it done effectively has been when that's the subject of the actual research- I.e. how social media is used in x community. IT CANNOT BE A REPLACEMENT FOR DEEP QUALITATIVE RESEARCH just because you don't have time. Focus groups are great for gathering easier-to-access info--you want to talk about identity? Meaning? Gender? You need to sit down with people. If you have read all of this research literature, then you know that qualitative research is about building trust, relationships, etc. And that there is no research without it.

I am a total self-hating academic so I get why so many folks in the tattoo world are so skeptical of researchers. We can be a really tonedeaf bunch. Many researchers take without giving back. But I just want to be clear that as someone who is very much embedded into this world, the above would not be ok with me, either. In fact, much of my career has been spent trying to push people to rethink what it means to work with people, similar to the stuff @Lochlan has been talking about.

And to the OP: I get that as an MA student this may be some of your first attempts at doing original research, and so this strong reaction may be really painful. I encourage you to listen to it carefully; I have learned some of my own important lessons about how I present myself, why I do what I do, what I hope to gain from my work, and what I'm asking of other people, in these kinds of tense encounters. I encourage you to think about what the goal of this project is beyond it being interesting to you (you want others to share personal moments of their lives with you? That's not enough.) and think especially about what useful, respectful, rigorous research can actually be done with the time and resources you have. If a message board conversation is all that you are able to do right now, it's not enough to credibly try to answer the questions you are asking with the depth that they, and we, deserve. Research with people takes time.

I empathized with how painful such a strong reaction like this must be for you, especially as your supervisors clearly signed off on this plan and no one appeared to realize the problems with it, but I have to say that this:

At the end of the day i could just look through all your posts and take what is relevant to my research without informing you. After all it is publicly available on the internet. However that is not how i wanted to conduct my research, i believe in ethics and want this research to be ethical as well as add something to the sociological study of tattooed bodies.

Pretty much removed any good will I felt for you. The above is basically a threat. If you do, indeed, believe in "ethics", then such a nasty statement would never have appeared in your message. Whether or not our posts are publicly available, threatening us that you could use them if you wanted to, but you're just too nice not to, is a dirty, dirty thing to say. Think about what ethical means.

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Thank you for your apology though I must question, "limited time scale"....going into grad school you know you need a thesis so by a good advisors advising you should be encouraged to begin developing your thesis at the beginning.

+1

I hate excuses ... and shortcuts.

Do it right or don't do it. What kind of academic contribution is someone going to make with last-minute "research" hastily gathered from an online forum? You don't have any idea who you are gathering information from, no controls, no basis for judging their opinions, etc, etc, etc.

Learn a few rules about academic research. Getting your Master's degree is an achievement because when it's done right, it's hard work and time consuming. When you take short cuts you cheapen the value of a degree for everyone.

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One more thing, and then I'll shut up about this, but this:

However it is an area that needs developing as opinions and views of tattoos change and develop in society. For instance Margo Demello in her work on tattooing has identified a change in social trends regarding who gets tattooed, indicating that tattooing today is a very middle class activity compared to it being a working class one in the 1950's. Therefore I see my work as something that adds to a better understanding of tattoos in western society rather than something completely new.

Is a genuinely very good explanation of what you would contribute to academic knowledge about tattoo culture. Great. It is of course important to be able to explain a research topic's place within the wider literature. What it is NOT, however, is an explanation of what you would contribute to tattoo culture itself. Many academic confuse these two--they think that by contributing academic knowledge they are "giving back" to the people they research inherently. That's bullshit. When in the other thread, people posted about academics taking and not giving back, this is what they meant. When you embark on this kind of research where you hope to have people share pretty intimate parts of their lives, you have to think about what you will be able to give them, and not accept this fallacy that the world somehow gives two shits about the academic "contribution" your making. It is MUCH HARDER WORK to make sure you're making both an academic and a social contribution, but it's also, the only truly ethical way to proceed.

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(It's been a while since I've posted, so let me quickly reintroduce myself: I'm @hogg 's significant other. A tattoo collector, not an artist. Also, I'm an American historian -- a.k.a. an academic.)

Perhaps we're all being a little hard on @SailorClaire because she is a self-identified academic. But those of us in that world are not all the same; we've all had different training, and we approach our research, our subjects, our writing, and our instruction from various perspectives and with various levels of discipline and care.

With that said, @SailorClaire, you may have exposed yourself as the academic equivalent of a scratcher.

Your heart seems to be in the right place, and you offered some evidence of background research (albiet too little, too late). But I'd agree with others who have questioned the time constraints on the project and asked whether it isn't ultimately "lazy" to mine internet forums for a sociological study like this. It's an amateur approach rather than a forward-thinking one. As you continue with your graduate work, read more, practice more, you'll certainly be able to better recognize the difference.

Interviewing people as research subjects is a delicate undertaking, which should be obvious considering all the legalese in the paperwork you'll need to submit with your thesis. But paperwork aside, engaging in this kind of first-person research requires better training, a greater sensitivity to your subject matter, an awareness of how you will be perceived by your interviewees, far more reading, and a great deal of practice honing your methodology -- especially your skills as an interviewer, a writer, and a student of your "topic of choice."

If you really do want to make an impact in your field, the research process (and ultimately your writing) can't be rushed. Cutting corners may get you your master's degree, but it won't make you a respected scholar in the field and certainly not within the tattoo world.

I'm sure the tattoo artists on the board can appreciate the value of these kinds of missteps along the way. Best lessons.

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@SailorClaire Margo DeMello was my first wife ,I helped her write that shit. 20 yr old boring crap.If you don't believe me research who I am.

Hi everyone,

unfortunately i seemed to have experienced a bit of a backlash on my 'tattoo study' thread! Also it was closed, so i wasnt able to directly reply and defend myself/apologise for my conduct on that, so this is for those who replyed to it. I hope ive included everything.

First of all, sorry, i should of contacted mods first, as well introduced myself properly on the forum. I will say this in my defence, i am on limited time scale with this research, and had signed up to a lot that day and LST was my last one so yeah i did a little sloppily.

Second of all- i am aware that this subject is nothing new and there is a wealth of literature on the subject. However it is an area that needs developing as opinions and views of tattoos change and develop in society. For instance Margo Demello in her work on tattooing has identified a change in social trends regarding who gets tattooed, indicating that tattooing today is a very middle class activity compared to it being a working class one in the 1950's. Therefore I see my work as something that adds to a better understanding of tattoos in western society rather than something completely new. I havent read matt lodders work but i will add it to my reading list- thanks for the suggestion!

Also, I had done face- to-face interviews for my undergraduate work in which i also studied tattoos as a signifier of personal and social identity. The results were great, but because face to face interviews are time consuming and costly (especially as i only work part time) i couldnt collect a huge amount of data, and therefore could not generalise the results. So, taking this into account, for my masters degree, i otpted for online research and decided forums were the best avenue for this topic, thinking that i would have a wealth of data from an already set up focus group. So i have been out in the real world to do research, but in order to have more data collected in a less time consuming and costly manner online forums was the way to go. Also ive never met a tattooed person who didnt like talking about their tattoos- i am one of them! so hopefully that answers the next question- i do have tattoos! I have 5 mostly on my legs at the moment, would have more but need to save some money before i go ahead with the ideas i have! I currently have a pair of wings on my back, a portrait of marilyn monroe on my right calf, lily flowers on the front of my left calf, a mexican sugar skull on the back of my left calf, and some cherry blossoms on the outside of my left calf. I can put up pics if anyone wants to see.

Also as for the cummunity research 101 thing- yes i got an education in it from this experience! Again, please take a look at my first point- it was the end of the day, last forum, etc i did it sloppily. for that i am sorry. Also I would love to have the time to contribute to this forum further than my reasearch- the last thing i want to do is take take take from you all, but (as mentioned above) am on a limited timescale with this and just went straight in. At the end of the day i could just look through all your posts and take what is relevant to my research without informing you. After all it is publicly available on the internet. However that is not how i wanted to conduct my research, i believe in ethics and want this research to be ethical as well as add something to the sociological study of tattooed bodies.

anyways i think thats all i have to say! read this, dont read this i dont really mind, ive said my piece.

also i wont be conducting my research on this site (im guessing most of you will pleased about this) and will leave as a member shortly.

thanks, SailorClaire.

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f#ckin vampires....this is about research for the sake of research. So you can finish a useless degree....and then you become an authority on something you truly know nothing about. life experience has lead me to hate this academic BS.

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If I package a bunch of shit someone told me as facts,how does that make me an authority?

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Oh yeah Margo Demello claimed she spent alot of time in a tattoo shop with GTC and I, Bullshit ,your following bullshit. Sorry for the truth. Hope this helps with your research...remember publishing bullshit doesnt make it true. You don't look like a Sailor. A trade many are proud of ,monikers are supposed to mean something. When did everyone start giving themselves nicknames?

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Good luck in finding your answers you look for SailorClaire. Maybe you have to do some research before your research! Not everyone is an open book, willing to talk about their tattoos. This was a learning experience for you hopefully. I'm not a woman but a woman taught me about tattooing and how to tattoo. My answer to you is keep searching and you will get the information you seek. You just need to find the right way to ask!

I may not be liked for this response but I think stony said it best " I, Leonard 'Stoney' St. Clair, am in the business of rendering a service to the community for the small group of people who choose to have their bodies decorated in some way or another. I choose to pursue my profession with intelligence and skill, wishing not to offend anyone, but instead, with my love of mankind, to do what good I can before I die."

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thanks for all the comments, and your honesty. i will definitely be taking this as a lesson and move on. thanks for your time.

- - - Updated - - -

also i am sorry if i did offend anyone, that was not my intention.

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Its OK. Its just that nobody ''wants'' to be studied.

thanks for all the comments, and your honesty. i will definitely be taking this as a lesson and move on. thanks for your time.

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also i am sorry if i did offend anyone, that was not my intention.

- - - Updated - - -

phony...

So, this was an apology, or...

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Your heart seems to be in the right place, and you offered some evidence of background research (albiet too little, too late). But I'd agree with others who have questioned the time constraints on the project and asked whether it isn't ultimately "lazy" to mine internet forums for a sociological study like this. It's an amateur approach rather than a forward-thinking one. As you continue with your graduate work, read more, practice more, you'll certainly be able to better recognize the difference.

Interviewing people as research subjects is a delicate undertaking, which should be obvious considering all the legalese in the paperwork you'll need to submit with your thesis. But paperwork aside, engaging in this kind of first-person research requires better training, a greater sensitivity to your subject matter, an awareness of how you will be perceived by your interviewees, far more reading, and a great deal of practice honing your methodology -- especially your skills as an interviewer, a writer, and a student of your "topic of choice."

If you really do want to make an impact in your field, the research process (and ultimately your writing) can't be rushed. Cutting corners may get you your master's degree, but it won't make you a respected scholar in the field and certainly not within the tattoo world.

I'm sure the tattoo artists on the board can appreciate the value of these kinds of missteps along the way. Best lessons.

Well said. :)

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With that said, @SailorClaire, you may have exposed yourself as the academic equivalent of a scratcher.

This.

A lot of here have put a great deal of time/money/sacrifice into this passion. I hope @SailorClaire sticks around, and contributes, and you'll only learn more and more. And from there, hopefully, we can guide you where to go.

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