• From outsider to established – explaining the current popularity and acceptability of tattooing

      Rees, Michael (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, 2016-10-31)
      Tattooing is a practice long associated with social outsiders – sailors, criminals, bikers and women of disrepute. In recent years, however, the practice has become increasingly popular, and acceptable, in mainstream culture as these marks of distinction appear on an ever greater number of bodies. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, academic literature, and content analysis of popular media, I propose that four inter-related developments have contributed to the redefinition of tattooing: the increasing importance of the body as a site for constructing identity; processes of cultural diversity and globalization; the increased visibility of the practice in popular culture; and attempts to legitimise the practice as an acceptable art form both within academia and popular culture. By drawing together these inter-related developments this paper demonstrates how Elias’ theories of establishedoutsider relations provides an understanding of the processes that lead to changing statuses for certain cultural practices.
    • Talking with the Body: Tattooing and representing the authentic self

      Rees, Michael (University of Chester, 2019-04-12)
    • We are not all Terrorists: UK Based Iranians, Consumption Practices and the ‘Torn’ Self.

      Jafari, Aliakbar; Goulding, Christina (Informaworld - Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), 2008)
      This paper presents an exploratory study of the consumption practices of UK-based young Iranians. Based on a series of in-depth interviews and participatory observation we provide an insight into the identity-constituting meanings associated with consumption practices. We illustrate how individuals use consumption discourses to tackle a series of ideological tensions in their sociocultural settings, both in Iran and in the UK. We describe how in a theocratic state individuals use commodified cultural symbolic mediators to construct and reaffirm a sense of self and identity and also to covertly resist the dominant order. We discuss consumer's paradoxes and dilemmas when confronted with a complex set of clashes between restricting political/institutional dynamics and the emancipatory forces of Western consumption. We conclude by discussing how these contradictions and strategies lead to a form of “torn” self.
    • Working Weeks, Rave Weekends: Identity Fragmentation and the Emergence of New Communities

      Goulding, Christina; Shankar, Avi; Elliott, Richard (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2002)
      Popular music is one of the most ubiquitous forms of contemporary culture. This paper looks at the phenomenon known as rave or dance culture in Britain. It examines the nature of the consumer experience at a dance club through the use of a two stage methodology. Based on observations and the collection of phenomenological data, the findings suggest that the experience is linked to a series of behaviours, which are related to fragmentation and identity. These include narcissistic identity, the emergence of new communities, the need for escape, engagement and prolonged hedonism. The paper examines these concepts in relation to postmodern consumption. In particular, an evaluation of postmodern theory and its focus on fragmentation and the project of the self is offered, by arguing for a return to "community".