Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joseph Baker

Committee Members

Martha Copp, Kelly Foster


Body modification is a global phenomenon. In the southeastern United States, two forms of modifications present themselves most often: piercings and tattoos. Much of the research conducted on body modifications looks at deviance as a primary concern, focusing less on what the individuals are like. This study examines the personal accounts of people with body modifications and add to the existing information about body-modified people. Interviews were conducted with fifteen participants across several months in different parts of two east Tennessee cities. Questions were open-ended and all responses were transcribed. Participants discussed a variety of topics, including pain, belongingness, and body image. This research offers suggestions for future research in focused areas of body modification.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.