Volume 15, Number 1, 2019

Mélanie Girard

« Foreward » (on the theme of tattooing) (p. 15-18)

Jean-Pierre Albert

« Corpus religiosum. Body Markings in Latin Christianism » (p. 15-18)

Abstract : Research on body markings in a Christian context (here reduced to latin Christianism) offers a contrasting picture. The ways in which religious identity is inscribed in the body seem to exclude almost entirely – despite their presence in all religions across the world – the realm of intentional ritualistic body markings (mutilations, tattoos, etc.). The corporal anchorage point of a Christian habitus offers a broader spectrum, particularly through its exploration of the ascetic and penitential aspects of devotional excellence. The most commonly studied rubric is that of supernatural markings, of which stigmatization remains the most typical example. In this study, we attempt to understand this phenomenon through the specifics of Christian theology, all the while taking into account their interaction with general anthropological determinants of religiosity.

Key-words: Christian Theology and Anthropology, Religious Virtuosos, Asceticism, Dolorism, Ecstasy, Paramystical Phenomena, Stigmatization.

Simone Wiener

«Tattooing as Archive: From the Trace of Writing to the Writing of a Trace» (p. 45-63)

Abstract: In recent years, tattoos have become the object of infa-tuation but, unlike those of traditional societies, they are original and individually chosen motifs.
How can one grasp this practice which consists of putting something on the skin indelibly? Could it have the function of connecting us to a place, a name, a group?
I will treat the body as a space to open my reflection on the plurality of tattoos.
I will make some hypotheses on the different forms of corporal inscriptions, from the stigma, to the erotic ornament which is given to see, to the mark of identity. Could tattooing, in some cases, constitute a kind of symbolic support, the writing of a visible trace on the body whose necessity would be to prevent forgetfulness?

Keywords: Tattoo, Trace, Writing, Stigma, Scopic Drive, Erotic, Mark, Identity.

Catherine Rioult

«From Scarification to Tattooing: An Intimate Writing» (p. 65-92)

Abstract: In traditional societies, the body serves as identification. Anthropology has shown that the body marked by scarifications and/or tattoos carries the system of signs of a social group which allows an individual to identify another at first sight.
Psychoanalysis provides access to the discourse that the young person cannot express verbally but that he/she writes on his/her skin through scarifications and tattoos.
The story of several teenage girls, through their psychotherapeutic journey, shows how they went from the scarifications they inflicted on themselves in secret, out of their pain of living, to a tattoo chosen and assumed and for all to see.
The tattoo, an ornamental element of body marking, served in helping them to sublimate their destructive impulses.

Key-words: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, Body, Scarifications, Tattoos, Sublimation.

Mélanie Girard, Simon Laflamme et Claude Vautier

«Representation of Tattooing: Differentiation and Assimilation» (p. 93-171)

Abstract: Tattoos, it would seem, are as old as humankind. Although they were mainly used and displayed by members of deviant subcultures throughout most of the nineteenth century, the 1980’s and 1990’s have given way to a rise in body modifications in general, and tattoos in particular. The question arises as to how we can begin to explain this craze for tattoos in the Western world. In this paper, we suggest that this newly constructed infatuation is the product of an episteme which is built on four century-defining, distinct, all the while interrelated, phenomena: the Space Odyssey, the rise of Superheroes and Comic Books, the sexual revolution and the emergence of the internet in general and of social networks in particular. We also argue that the act of getting tattooed is necessarily both individual and collective: by differentiating oneself through the use of tattoos, one joins a collective or community. This reminds us that human societies are paradoxical in nature, their components constantly evolving between homogeneity and differentiation. Through the study of a Franco-Canadian sample divided into three separate groups – not tattooed, somewhat tattooed, very tattooed – we show that tattoos evoke arts, esthetics and health as well as the transgression of social norms and the extension of physical and psychological limits in all groups within both countries, although the French sample is more defined by art and the Canadian sample, by symbols. The marking of the body with ink thus appears as a collectively inscribed individual process in which the collective is either outside of, secondary to, or implicitly part of oneself, depending on the category with which we identify.

Key-words: Tattoos, Body Modifications, Episteme, Space, Super Heroes, Sexual Revolution, Internet, Individual, Collective, Homogeneity, Differentiation.

Bernard Andrieu

«Tattoo Removal: Stealth Identity or Corporal Vivacity ?» (p. 173-203)

Abstract: Tattoo removal could be understood as an erasure: erasing one’s past could be the way to start from scratch, to find an original skin and to give new meaning to one’s skin. If salt has been used unsuccessfully, new techniques are subject to evaluation and evolution.
But the erasure techniques are so invasive and their sequelae so important that tattoo removal appears as a form of disengagement which is both assumed and risky: from the point of view of the state of the torn skin, which never recovers the state of blank canvas on which one could rewrite immediately, as well as from a physiological perspective which would like to renew the skin’s age.
We demonstrate that there is not an arrangement with the skin but an “agenrement” to operate to give back a style and a type to a body discredited by what would now be a defect to eliminate.

Key-words: Tattoo Removal, Erasure, Vivacity, Remorse.

Gérard Amougou

«The Concept of Subject-Entrepreneur: Analysis of New Forms of Subjectivity from a Research Conducted in Cameroon» (p. 207-245)

Abstract: This article is an effort to conceptualize the subject-entrepreneur, carried out from a field research in Cameroon. If it emerges in a precarious environment, this subject seems to preserve certain specificities that distinguish it from the forms of entrepreneurs known until then and emerging actors revealed by the literature. Presenting itself initially as an individuality in constant process, the entrepreneur-subject is gradually built as an individual-subject-actor who informs the social transformations behind the scenes while offering a new material to the new sociologies of the subject.

Key-words: Subject-Entrepreneur, Individual, Subject, Actor, Subjectivization, Bricolage.

Text Interprétation

Cyrille Rigolot et Leonardo Orlando


Quantum Mind and Social Science. Unifying Physical and Social Ontology (Alexander Wendt, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 354 pages)

Book Review

L’aventure de la recherche qualitative. Du questionnement à la rédaction scientifique,
Stéphanie Gaudet et Dominique Robert, Ottawa, Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, coll. « Praxis », 2018, 270 p.