Advertisement

Marked Bodies, Oppositional Identities? Tattooing, Piercing and the Ambiguity of Resistance

  • Paul Sweetman
Part of the Explorations in Sociology. British Sociological Association Conference Volume Series book series (EIS)

Abstract

The last twenty to thirty years have seen a considerable resurgence in the popularity of tattooing and body piercing in the West, with tattooing, for instance, undergoing what some have called a renaissance (Tucker, 1981; Rubin, 1988; Sanders, 1989; Curry, 1993). This refers not only to the development of new designs and techniques, but also to tattooing’s growing popularity amongst an increasingly diverse clientele. Although they may still form a large proportion of many professional tattooists’ clients, the stereotypical image of the tattooee as young, male and working class is increasingly outdated as more and more men and women, of various age-groups and socio-economic backgrounds, choose to enter the tattoo studio (Rubin, 1988; Sanders, 1989; Curry, 1993; Blanchard, 1994; DeMello, 1995).

Keywords

Body Modification Body Modifier Body Project Male Interviewee Tribal Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Balsamo, A. (1995) ‘Forms of Technological Embodiment: Reading the Body in Contemporary Culture’, Body and Society,1(3–4): 215–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartky, S. L. (1988) ‘Foucault, Femininity and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power’, in I. Diamond and L. Quinby (eds), Feminism and Foucault: Reflections on Resistance (Boston: Northeastern University Press).Google Scholar
  3. Bellos, A. (1996) ‘As British as S&M’, Guardian,6 November.Google Scholar
  4. Blanchard, M. (1994) ‘Post-Bourgeois Tattoo: Reflections on Skin Writing in Late Capitalist Societies’, in Lucien Taylor (ed.), Visualizing Theory: Selected Essays from V.A.R., 1990–1994 (New York and London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  5. Bogdan, R. (1988) Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  6. Bordo, S. (1992) ‘Postmodern Subjects Postmodern Bodies’, Feminist Studies,18(1), pp. 159–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brain, R. (1979) The Decorated Body (London: Hutchinson).Google Scholar
  8. Butler, J. (1994) ‘Gender as Performance: an Interview with Judith Butler’, Radical Philosophy,67, pp. 32–9.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, S. and Taylor, L. (1992) Escape Attempts: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Everyday Life,2nd edn (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  10. Craik, J. (1994) The Face of Fashion: Cultural Studies in Fashion (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  11. Curry, D. (1993) ‘Decorating the Body Politic’, New Formations,19, pp. 69–82.Google Scholar
  12. Dalrymple, T. (1995) ‘The Way of All Criminal Flesh’, Sunday Times,6 August.Google Scholar
  13. Davis, K. (1995) Reshaping the Female Body: The Dilemma of Cosmetic Surgery (New York and London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  14. Dery, M. (1996) Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (London: Hodder and Soughton).Google Scholar
  15. DeMello, M. (1995) ‘The Carnivalesque Body: Women and Tattoos’, in The Drawing Center, Pierced Hearts and True Love: A Century of Drawings for Tattoos (New York/Honolulu: The Drawing Center/Hardy Marks Publications).Google Scholar
  16. Douglas, M. (1984 [1966]) Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  17. Emberly, J. (1987) ‘The Fashion Apparatus and the Deconstruction of Postmodern Subjectivity’, in A. Kroker and M. Kroker (eds), Body Invaders: Panic Sex in America (New York: St Martin’s Press).Google Scholar
  18. Eubanks, V. (1996) ‘Zones of Dither: Writing the Postmodern Body’, Body and Society,2(3), pp. 73–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ewen, S. (1988) All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture (US: Basic Books).Google Scholar
  20. Falk, P. (1995) ‘Written in the Flesh’, Body and Society,1(1), pp. 95–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Featherstone, M. (1991) ‘The Body in Consumer Culture’, in M. Featherstone, M. Hepworth and B. Turner (eds), The Body: Social Process and Cultural Theory (London: Sage).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ferrell, J. (1993) Crimes of Style: Urban Graffiti and the Politics of Criminality (New York and London: Garland Publishing).Google Scholar
  23. Foucault, M. (1980a) ‘Body/Power’, in C. Gordon (ed.), Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge—Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977 (Brighton: Harvester Press).Google Scholar
  24. Foucault, M. (1980b) ‘Two Lectures’, in C. Gordon (ed.), Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge—Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977 (Brighton: Harvester Press).Google Scholar
  25. Foucault, M. (1981) The History of Sexuality,vol. I: An Introduction (London: Penguin).Google Scholar
  26. Foucault, M. (1988) ‘Sexual Choice, Sexual Act: Foucault and Homosexuality’ (interview), in L. Kritzman (ed.), Michel Foucault: Politics, Philosophy, Culture—Interviews and Other Writings, 1977–1984 (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  27. Gallina, R. (1989) ‘Raelyn Gallina’ (interview by A. Juno), in V. Vale and A. Juno (eds), Re/Search no. 12: Modern Primitives—An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and Ritual (San Francisco: Re/Search Publications).Google Scholar
  28. Gamman, L. and Makinen, M. (1994) Female Fetishism: A New Look (London: Lawrence and Wishart).Google Scholar
  29. Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  30. Gottschalk, S. (1993) ‘Uncomfortably Numb: Countercultural Impulses in the Postmodern Era’, Symbolic Interaction,16(4), pp. 351–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Govenar, A. (1988) ‘The Variable Context of Chicano Tattooing’, in A. Rubin (ed.), Marks of Civilization: Artistic Transformations of the Human Body (Los Angeles: Museum of Cultural History/University of California, LA).Google Scholar
  32. Grosz, E. (1990) ‘Inscriptions and Body-maps: Representations and the Corporeal’, in T. Threadgold and A. Cranny-Francis (eds), Feminine, Masculine and Representation (Sydney: Allen & Unwin).Google Scholar
  33. Grosz, E. (1994) Volatile Bodies: Towards a Corporeal Feminism (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press).Google Scholar
  34. Guest, H. (1992) ‘Curiously Marked: Tattooing, Masculinity, and Nationality in Eighteenth-Century British Perceptions of the South Pacific’, in J. Barrell (ed.), Painting and the Politics of Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  35. Hardy, D. (1989) ‘Don Ed Hardy’ (interview by A. Juno and V. Vale), in V. Vale and A. Juno (eds), Re/Search no. 12: Modern Primitives—An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and Ritual (San Francisco: Re/Search Publications).Google Scholar
  36. Hebdige, D. (1988) Hiding in the Light: On Images and Things (London: Routledge).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Klesse, C. (1997) ‘The Representation of Primitivism in a Specialised Sexual Subculture’, unpublished paper presented at ‘Body Modification’, at TCS conference, Nottingham Trent University, June 1997.Google Scholar
  38. Levi Strauss, D. (1989) ‘Modern Primitives’, in V. Vale and A. Juno (eds), Re/Search no. 12: Modern Primitives—An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and Ritual (San Francisco: Re/Search Publications).Google Scholar
  39. Lloyd, M. (1996) ‘Feminism, Aerobics and the Politics of the Body’, Body & Society,2(2)’ pp. 79–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lombroso, C. (1896) ‘The Savage Origin of Tattooing’, Popular Science Monthly,April, pp. 793–803.Google Scholar
  41. Lupton, D. (1995) ‘The Embodied Computer/User’, Body & Society,1(3–4), pp. 97–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mansfield, A. and McGinn, B. (1993) ‘Pumping Irony: the Muscular and the Feminine’, in S. Scott and D. Morgan (eds), Body Matters: Essays on the Sociology of the Body (London: Falmer Press).Google Scholar
  43. Mascia-Lees, F. E. and Sharpe, P. (1992a) ‘Introduction: Soft-Tissue Modification and the Horror Within’, in F. E. Mascia-Lees and P. Sharpe (eds), Tattoo, Torture, Mutilation, and Adornment: The Denaturalization of the Body in Culture and Text (New York: State University of New York Press).Google Scholar
  44. Mascia-Lees, F. E. and Sharpe, P. (1992b) ‘The Marked and the Un(re)Marked: Tattoo and Gender in Theory and Narrative’, in F. E. Mascia-Lees and P. Sharpe (eds), Tattoo, Torture, Mutilation, and Adornment: The Denaturalization of the Body in Culture and Text (New York: State University of New York Press).Google Scholar
  45. Mellor, P. and Shilling, C. (1997) Re-forming the Body: Religion, Community and Modernity (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  46. Muggleton, D. (1995) ‘From “Subculture” to “Neo-Tribe”: Identity, Paradox and Postmodernism in “Alternative” Style’, unpublished paper presented at ‘Shouts from the Street: Culture, Creativity and Change’ MIPC Conference on Popular Culture, Manchester Metropolitan University, September 1995.Google Scholar
  47. Muggleton, D. (1997) ‘Resistance or Difference? Expressive Individualism, Alienation and Subcultural Disengagement’, unpublished paper presented at ‘Power/Resistance’, BSA Annual Conference, University of York, April 1997.Google Scholar
  48. Musafar, F. (1989) ‘Fakir Musafar’ (interview by V. Vale and A. Juno), in V. Vale and A. Juno (eds), Re/Search no. 12: Modern Primitives—An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and Ritual (San Francisco: Re/Search Publications).Google Scholar
  49. Myers, J. (1992) ‘Nonmainstream Body Modification: Genital Piercing, Branding, Burning, and Cutting’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography,21(3), pp. 267–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pitts, V. (1998) ‘Provoking the Organic: Representations and Resistance in Extreme Body Marking’, unpublished paper presented at ‘Making Sense of the Body’, BSA Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh, April 1998.Google Scholar
  51. Polhemus, T. and Proctor, L. (1978) Fashion and Anti-Fashion: An Anthropology of Clothing and Adornment (London: Thames and Hudson).Google Scholar
  52. Polhemus, T. (1995) Streetstyle: From Sidewalk to Catwalk (London: Thames and Hudson).Google Scholar
  53. Rubin, A. (1988) ‘The Tattoo Renaissance’, in A. Rubin (ed.), Marks of Civilization: Artistic Transformations of the Human Body (Los Angeles: Museum of Cultural History/University of California LA).Google Scholar
  54. Sanders, C. (1989) Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing (Philadelphia: Temple University Press).Google Scholar
  55. Sawchuk, K. (1987) ‘A Tale of Inscription/Fashion Statements’, in A. Kroker and M. Korker (eds), Body Invaders: Panic Sex in America (New York: St Martin’s Press).Google Scholar
  56. Seaton, E. (1987) ‘Profaned Bodies and Purloined Looks: The Prisoner’s Tattoo and the Researcher’s Gaze’, Journal of Communications Inquiry,11, pp. 17–25.Google Scholar
  57. Shilling, C. (1993) The Body and Social Theory (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  58. Simon-Miller, F. (1985) ‘Commentary: Signs and Cycles in the Fashion System’, in M. R. Soloman (ed.), The Psychology of Fashion (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books).Google Scholar
  59. Smyth, C. (1995) ‘What Makes a Man?’, Attitude,January, pp. 32–6.Google Scholar
  60. St Martin, L. and Gavey, N. (1996) ‘Women’s Bodybuilding: Feminist Resistance and/or Femininity’s Recuperation?’, Body & Society,2(4), pp. 45–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Steele, V. (1996) Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  62. Sweetman, P. (forthcoming: a) ‘Only Skin Deep? Tattooing, Piercing and the Transgressive Body’ in M. Aaron (ed.), The Body’s Perilous Pleasures (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press).Google Scholar
  63. Sweetman, P. (forthcoming: b) ‘Anchoring the (Postmodern) Self? Body Modification, Fashion and Identity’, Body & Society.Google Scholar
  64. Tseëlon, E. (1995) The Masque of Femininity: The Representation of Woman in Everyday Life (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  65. Tucker, M. (1981) ‘Tattoo: the State of the Art’, Artforum 19(9), pp. 42–7.Google Scholar
  66. Vale, V. and Juno, A. (1989) Re/Search no. 12: Modern Primitives—An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and Ritual (San Francisco: Re/Search Publications).Google Scholar
  67. Wilson, E. (1990) ‘These New Components of the Spectacle: Fashion and Postmodernism’, in R. Boyne and A. Rattansi (eds), Postmodernism and Society (Basingstoke: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  68. Wilson, R. W. (1995) ‘Cyber(body)parts: Prosthetic Consciousness’, Body & Society,1(3–4): 239–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Young, M. (1991) An Inside Job: Policing and Police Culture in Britain (Oxford: Clarendon Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© British Sociological Association 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Sweetman

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations