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Tattoos. Form of expression or form of deviance?

November 22, 2012

Tattoos have been a form of expression throughout history. Society has associated tattoos with deviant behavior and with the gang culture. However, the tattoo culture did not form from gang members. As found in the website of Michigan State university, some state that tattoos have been found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies dated from about 2000 B.C (http://msu.edu/~krcmari1/individual/history.html). This illustrates that tattoos are ideas of groups that are permanently tattooed on the body. This can represent differential association, where members of this culture interact with one another, share ideas, and express their emotions and beliefs through the art of tattooing. People with tattoos have also fallen into the labeling theory, where some employers view tattoos as unprofessional and negative, thus stereotyping that those with tattoos may be gang related. Although some gang members do possess tattoos, at the end tattoos serve the purpose to express one’s beliefs, whether they are love, a gang, or family member names. The tattoo culture has begun to have members who are celebrities like Travis Barker and soccer player David Beckham, thus emphasizing that tattooing is simply a form of art.

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