An anthropologist studying the social function of human skin has stated that tattoos are an ancient form of body art. Tattoos, she argues, function as a mode of self-identification; the placement and design of images communicate ideas of central importance to those who bear them. She hypothesizes that the resurgence of tattooing in Western cultures over the last 10-15 years is due to increased desire to express individuality in an environment in which other personal decorations, including clothing and jewelry, are mass-produced.
Which of the following research studies, if completed, would be most likely to provide evidence directly relating to the anthropologist’s hypothesis?
a A study examining the attitudes in several Western cultures toward mass-produced clothing and jewelry.
b A study that systematically interviews people with tattoos less than 15 years old to discover their reasons for tattooing.
c A study surveying the work of other anthropologists on tattooing as a mode of self-identification.
d A study of the most common designs for tattoos over the last 10-15 years that could determine correlations between popular images and culture.
e A study comparing ancient and modern designs for tattoos that could reveal the way shifts in images reflect shifts in culture.
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