Designing a Reclamation of Body and Health: Cancer Survivor Tattoos as Coping Ritual


論文アブストラクト:Historically, tattoos have been perceived as a mark of deviant behavior from the perspective of Western medicine. However, cancer survivor tattoos are one of many strategies used to recover from the trauma of cancer diagnosis and treatment. In this study, we seek to understand the significance of these tattoos in the context of survivorship. We interviewed 19 cancer survivors about their survivor tattoos, exploring the benefits of designing, discussing, and displaying these tattoos as elements of emotional recovery post-cancer. We found that the act of designing a survivor tattoo facilitated all three elements of post-traumatic growth processes, including: (1) changed self-perception; (2) changed sense of relationships with others; and (3) changed philosophy of life. Through participants' lived experiences, we discuss information about emotions, health, and recovery encoded in tattoos, and provide implications for tools to help future cancer survivors recover from the trauma of diagnosis and treatment.