Essay On Tattoo Subculture

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The Contemporary Tattoo Youth Subculture prevalent in Cape Town can be defined by its combination of tattoo flash, black-work and hand-poked tattoos. Subculture, simply put, is a cultural group found within a larger group, but people part of a subculture generally have things in common that are different to those of the rest in the larger group. In Chapter 8 of Dick Hebdidge’s text, Subculture: The Meaning of Style 1979 (121-122) he writes about style as a signifying practice. Hebdige applies the term ‘homology’ to describe how the style of a particular subcultural group can be recognised as a whole. He defines homology as “the symbolic fit between the values and life-styles of a group, its subjective experience and the musical forms it uses to express or…show more content…
Having contextualised tattoo culture as a subcultural phenomenon, as well as having provided a a historical overview of the origins of tattoo culture, the second half of the paper focuses on an investigation of the particular kind of tattoo subculture currently prevalent in Cape Town. Times are changing and the current youth in Cape Town seem to be more liberal and accepting of other people’s ideas and choices. This substantiates the idea that there could be a Contemporary Tattoo Subculture amongst the tattooed youth in Cape Town as tattoos are being accepted into everyday life nowadays. Could this be because of many of the Western pop stars and celebrities have adopted tattoo culture, be it from one small finger tattoo to a whole sleeve, and are exposing it to a larger part of the world due to technological advances in television, cameras and computers? Or is the youth, 20 years after the start of our democracy with its emphasis on liberalism and basic human rights, really just becoming more and more liberal? According to Gelder, amongst others, tattoos were

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