Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2016 Jocelyn D. Gardner
Categorization is a process that simplifies thoughts into manageable pieces by grouping related entities. This reductive analysis can lead to internal harm in individuals’ overarching identities, or Ganzheiten, which is the focus of this thesis. Given that categorization is necessary to our conceptual management of the world, is there a way to counteract the internal harms it can cause? Because acts of self-affirmation can have healing effects, I argue that one manifestation of permanent self-affirmation—custom tattooing—can be an effective repudiation of the divisiveness and reduction categories cause. Custom tattooing’s permanence, individualization, and personal significance make it a great choice as a method of healing internal damage caused by external categorization. Though tattoos might not be the answer for every person experiencing internalized categorization, I have shown that it should be considered as a valid source for the self-affirmation needed to heal from or counteract such internalized harms.
Gardner, Jocelyn D., "Embodiment: Permanent Self-Affirmation as a Repudiation of Internal, Categorical Harms to Identity" (2017). Scripps Senior Theses. 928.
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