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From the beginning of my research, I knew my topic would be related

to body modifications. Having a small tattoo and some body piercings
myself, and knowing that those body modifications are very common
these days, I found the subject very actual and interesting. I decided to
look more precisely at the causes and consequences of this
phenomenon, but also, in a more sociological way, at the reasons why
some people feel the necessity of modifying their body permanently,
even though it often involves pain and judgmental reactions from the

Through my research, I discovered that body modifications could be

related to risk behaviors. I found this aspect of the subject really
interesting and that is why the third part of the research will be mostly
about this particular idea. Thus body modifications are a valuable topic
of study, and I seek your permission to continue researching to its
Thesis and outline

Thesis: Even though tattoos and piercings are very common, the
reasons for getting body modifications (Bms) are numerous. By
examining the different motives, this paper will look at the meaning
body of modifications and the correlation between those modifications
and risk behaviors.


1. History of body modifications until today.

1.1 Origins
1.2 Evolution
1.3 Different kind of body modifications and what they represent

2. Reasons for getting body modifications

2.1 Changing something about your body for yourself

- Self-esteem, identity, origin
- Convictions, beliefs

2.2 Changing something about your body for the other

- To be identified as a part of a group
- To attract people's attention
- To upset or disturb people
3. Meaning of body modifications

3.1General meaning in society: why BMs are very common

3.2Correlation between BMs and risky behaviors
Annotated bibliography

Albin, Drema Dial. "Making the body (w)hole: A semiotic exploration of

body modifications." Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups
and Organisations12.1 (2006): 19-35. This article is about perceptions,
choices and meanings of body modifications. It will be useful for
my research paper because it includes a psychological point of

Colinon, Marie-Christine. Chirurgie, tatouage, piercing...Modifier son

corps. Paris: De La Martinière Jeunesse, 2003.This book is about the
reasons why people want to have body modifications and it explains
exactly what are those modifications. The personal stories of
teenagers could be useful to give concrete examples in my final

Grognard, Catherine. Tatouage. Paris: Syros alternatives, 1992. This is

an historical book and it explores tattoos through different times
Rabary, Gilles. Tatouage et détatouage, Art et technique. France:
Maloine, 1989.This book explores the reasons why people want to
get tattoos, but also the reasons why they want to get rid of them.
There are a lot of pictures and maybe I could include some of them in
my research. This book will be interesting for the historical part of the

Reynold, Laura. Les dangers du tatouage et du piercing. Montréal: Les

Éditions logiques, 2001.This book explains the physical and
psychological risks of getting body modifications.

Roberti, Jonathan W., and Eric A. Storch. "Psychosocial Adjustment of

College Students With Tattoos and Piercings." Journal of College
Counseling 8.1 (2005): 14-19. PsycINFO.This article presents a
study about college students. It compares two groups of students. It
will be interesting for my research because it makes a
correlation between BM and depression or anxiety.

Stirn, Aglaja, and Andreas Hinz. "Tattoos, body piercings, and self-
injury: Is there a connection? Investigations on a core group of
participants practicing body modification." Psychotherapy
Research 18.3 (2008): 326-333. This article is a study about
teenagers and BMs. It contains a lot of statistics that will be really
useful for the reliability of my research.

Suris, Joan-Carles, et al. "Piercing among adolescents: Body art as risk

marker--A population-based survey." The Journal of Family Practice
56.2 (2007): 126- 130.This article is about how piercings can lead to
the identification of risky behaviors among teenagers. It will be
relevant for the third part of my research paper.

Tenenhaus, Hervé. Le tatouage à l'adolescence. Paris: Bayard Éditions,

1993. This book focuses more on teenagers and why they want to
get tattooed.