“It’s actually a job you are married to”. Work Experiences of Tattoo Artists in Croatia


  • Željka Tonković Odjel za sociologiju Sveučilište u Zadru
  • Ema Bašić Institut društvenih znanosti Ivo Pilar Područni centar Gospić


The tattoo, once an indicator of belonging to subculture, deviant, and marginalized groups,
or specific occupations, has become mainstream. Given that their social world has not yet
been studied in much detail, this research aimed to explore the work experiences of tattoo
artists. For the purposes of the research, semi-structured interviews with tattoo artists were
conducted. The results show that for tattoo artists, tattooing is more than just a job – rather,
it is integral to their lifestyle. Tattoo artists give particular importance to family and friends
and support and belonging in both tattoo-specific and broader alternative scenes. With
regard to cultural capital, a specific type of cultural capital, “alternative cultural capital,”
proved to be important.




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