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Tattoos as a form of dress: A review (2000–18)

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Researchers interested in tattoos and tattooing have investigated a range of topics. Since obtaining tattoos has increased in popularity with both men and women, our research purpose was to critically assess research focused on this form of body modification. Using a database search and the ancestry approach we identified 60 empirical refereed journal articles with human participants published between 2000 and 2018. Our analyses revealed five general research topics: (1) motivations for obtaining/removing tattoos, (2) others’ perceptions of, attitudes towards and behaviours directed towards tattooed individuals, (3) individual differences and tattoo status, (4) actual attitudes/perceptions and behaviours of tattooed individuals and (5) workplace outcomes and tattoo status. Overall, most of this research was conducted in western countries, researchers primarily utilized convenience samples and few researchers noted theory as an influence on their research. Recommendations for future research and theories to apply are provided.
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Keywords: attitudes; behaviours; body modification; individual differences; motivations; perceptions; review; tattoo

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Indiana University 2: University of Minnesota

Publication date: March 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Fashion, Style & Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal specifically dedicated to the area of fashion scholarship and its interfacings with popular culture. It was established to provide an interdisciplinary environment for fashion academics and practitioners to publish innovative scholarship in all aspects of fashion and popular culture relating to design, textiles, production, promotion, consumption and appearance-related products and services. Articles related to history, manufacturing, aesthetics, sourcing, marketing, branding, merchandising, retailing, technology, psychological/sociological aspects of dress, style, body image, and cultural identities, as well as purchasing, shopping, and the ways and means consumers construct identity as associated to Fashion, Style & Popular Culture are welcomed. The journal offers a broad range of written and visual scholarship and includes works done through various methods of research. We welcome conceptual, theoretical and translational applied research in the areas of fashion, style and popular culture. This journal hopes to stimulate new discussions in the fashion disciplines and to push the envelope of scholarship by welcoming new and established scholars to submit their works.

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