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Body Art - Research Proposal Example

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This research proposal presents a plan for a qualitative research assessment of the question, "Is Body Art Important in Forming Young People Identities In Britain". The proposal includes an outline of existing research, and offers a critique of this research, essentially showing what gaps exist in the current research, and how the current research will fill the gap in the current body of research…
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Body Art Research Proposal
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Download file to see previous pages As discussed, the research question to be addressed in the course of this research is, "Is Body Art Important in Forming Young People Identities In Britain". This question has been chosen because it is of interest to me personally, in terms of the art itself, but also in terms of understanding the motivations behind altering one's body through body art. The phenomena of body art is becoming increasingly popular in Western societies, and the reasons behind this increasing popularity are of interest to me, sociologically speaking; I am interested in knowing why body art is increasing in popularity and why people participate in body art, in terms of their personal histories and perspectives.
The widespread nature, and long history, of body art suggests that the human body has been, and is, a canvas for the expression of cultural ideas. Body art is something universal, that is documented across all of recorded time, and as such, the reasons behind it's use and incorporation are of fundamental interest in the understanding of cultural politics and issues of self acknowledgement and representation.
This section will show what other research has been done, and will present gaps in the research that this current research proposal will address. A brief background and history of body art will be presented, which will introduce the work of other theorists, in terms of what they say about the links between the body and modernity, and the links between body and identity, for example.
Body art is essentially art that is put on, or consists of, the human body (Brain, 1979). There are many forms of body art, including: tattoos, piercings, henna painting, branding, scarification, body painting or other, less invasive, less permanent, types of body art, for example, corseting. Many academics include other forms of body modification, such as plastic surgery, under the umbrella of body art, but this is the subject of much discussion. Others include extreme performance under the umbrella of body art, for example, mutilation on stage, or sadomasochism, or pushing the body to it's physical limits (for example, the work of Oppenheimer), but again, the inclusion of these categories of body modification under the umbrella of body art is subject to much debate.
Body art has been around for centuries, with tattooed Mummies being common from the age of the Egyptians, to henna painting in India, which is centuries old. The inhabitants of the islands of the Pacific have some of the most magnificent tattooing in the world, which is known to have been practiced by them for centuries. Many other cultures, from Africa to Australia, to the Pacific islands, are known to have participated in body modification (neck stretching, ear ornamentation) for centuries. The widespread nature, and long history, of body art suggests that the human body has been, and is, a canvas for the expression of cultural ideas. Body art is something universal, across all of recorded time, and as such, the reasons behind it's use and incorporation are of fundamental interest in the understanding of cultural politics and issues of self acknowledgement and representation.
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