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Tattoos And Consumer Culture

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In recent days, the consumption of tattoos may be considered contradictory in its ability to make someone be different and its potential symbolism of various subcultures allowing the consumer to fit in. While many cultures around the world started using tattoos as a way to mark status, spiritual devotion, bravery and protection, Western society began using tattoos as a symbol of criminality and deviance. This perception of degeneracy has been argued to derive from European middle-class ideas of evolutionary superiority of their “civilised” society versus other “savage” ones (1993, p. 10). With the rise of the “rock star” in the seventies, many subcultures began to use tattooing to defy the dominant ideology of an ink-free body being society’s attractive norm (Kosut 2013, p. 143; Sternberg, 2017 a). In recent years, popular culture and incorporation altered mainstream perceptions of tattoos and challenged the traditional ideologies connecting tattoos and deviance (Kjeldgaard & Bengtsson 2005, p. 172). By exploring the development of tattoos in consumer culture, this essay examines the contrasting beliefs regarding whether consumption practices are sites of resistance to the dominant order or sites of conformity.
The history and social significance of tattoos is very complex, as stated by Karacaoglan (2012):
“Although the practice of tattooing has been in existence for millennia, tattoos have acquired renewed and widespread currency in contemporary Western culture. Tattooing
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