tattooing in america

interesting history behind tattooing in america, I’m finding that while it always seemed to carry this stereotype of lower socio-economic status, it has certainly made recent and sturdy footholds for itself as an art form. at the end of this article, it is noted that: “Some contemporary cultural anthropologists have interpreted tattooing as an integral part of a larger phenomenon of body modification, including branding, scarring and piercing, inspired by the global disintegration of cultural frontiers.” Tattooing is a cross-cultural practice, and has been rather accepted within the general public. Or has it? What’s the purpose of asking about tattoos on job applications, if apparently it doesn’t matter? Have we truly shaken the stereotypes?

I think that Marx would be interested in the relationship between class and tattoos: why is it considered more natural when blue-collar worker has tattoos vs. a white-collared worker? Are tattoos something that define our qualifications to do specific jobs? Is the dominant class perpetuating these ideologies? I also am wondering if there is such a thing as a situational truth regime – if tattoos are indeed acceptable in the eyes of society, why do there seem to be lines drawn in the sand, based on class? Tattoos are naturalized and accepted as truth, and even art, but only on certain people and in certain jobs/places/etc.

it seems to be an ongoing debate:

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