Tattoos In Western Culture

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In the perspective of Western culture, the form of art known as tattooing of the skin underwent a diverse and long history through time and various eras. Phases of social stigmatisation to surges of acceptance are some challenges experienced by those who wear tattoos on their bodies. Exposing one’s tattoo creates a personal expression or statement to society, but the interpretation of that expressions and statements has changed in time. Tattoos can be used as a method of affirming unity and reclaiming authority among marginalised groups such as prisoners (Goffman 1967, Sanders 1990). Tattoos are described as a type of trend or fashion by some and many tattooed people identify their ink as “accessories” that can be visible to the public or even…show more content…
The practice of tattooing and the social value it holds in relation to the social marginalisation or deviancy remains a debate that has continued for years. A shift in the collective opinions towards tattoos has emerged in contemporary society recently. The amount of certified tattoo parlours in the United States has grown from 500 to 10 000 between the 1960’s and 1980’s and it is the assumption that twenty percent of Americans have tattoos (Velliquette 2006, Koust 2006). There is a clear shift in the role of tattooing in Western Society through the past years. This shift describes the contemporary tattooed individual as someone who enacts a distinctive perception on the practice. This individual holds a different relationship with their body art than that of their decorated…show more content…
Members that shared a positive view of tattoos in society at this stage identified the exercise of tattooing one’s skin as a means of communal identification and began to use the exercise to push cultural bounds and express an attitude of “us against them” (DeMello 2000, Sanders 1989). The “tattoo renaissance”, was cultural spectacles that lead to the exercise of tattoos becoming a division of fine art as well as the extensive commercialisation thereof. This upheaval or movement of tattoos has surpassed all kinds of limitations such as gender, ethnic and cultural limits and amended the nonconformity of society on this issue (DeMello 2000, Koust 2006, and Mifflin 2007). Japanese tattoos and tattoo art captured the attention of persons as it was viewed as exotic and in the late 1960s and early 1970s, inquisitiveness was high in exotic culture, which lead to the start of this process. With the rise of New Social Movements concerned with the way of life such as environmentalism, gay rights and feminism the practice of tattoos experienced substantial motion in the second half of the 1970s. These types of clusters motivated members to amend their actions and judgements by incorporating communal goals and thus creating participation or membership to be a change based on the way of life as well as cultural

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