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Academic’s new book reveals a tattoo phenomenon

Academic’s new book reveals a tattoo phenomenon

A University of Wolverhampton academic has explored the phenomenon of tattooing in a new book which was published in December. 

The book, Tattooing in Contemporary Society: Identity and Authenticity, has been researched and written by Dr Michael Rees, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Sociology at the University. 

Dr Rees wrote his undergraduate dissertation on body modification followed by his Master’s dissertation and PhD about tattooing.  The book is based on his research findings. 

He said: “I was interested in finding out why tattoos had become so popular and more acceptable since I had my first in 1998, and why people were choosing permanent marks of identity in a consumer culture that promotes the constant cycling of fashions.   

“Tattooing has become an increasingly popular phenomenon in the Twenty First Century, with growing numbers of sports stars and celebrities choosing to go ‘under the needle’ and tattooing regularly featuring in mainstream media.  

“Based on interviews and participant observation at tattoo studios and tattoo conventions, this book investigates the reasons why so many people choose this form of body modification among all the options available to construct their identity.  

“Drawing on research, I consider the importance of the desire to create community with others and to claim an authentic identity among the various reasons for choosing to be tattooed. 

“The book is useful for anybody who is interested in the relationship between the body and identity more generally and tattooing more specifically.  It would be good for students on The Sociology of the Body module that I teach which addresses body modification but would be useful for any students studying modules concerned with the body or identity.” 

The book is available to buy through Routledge: 

Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days. 


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