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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Gretchen Larsen

Larsen, G., Patterson, M. & Markham, L. (2014). A Deviant Art: Tattoo-Related Stigma in an Era of Commodification. Psychology and Marketing 31(8): 670-681.

Author(s) from Durham


In Western society, tattoos have historically signified deviance and those who were tattooed were often stigmatized as a result. Extant research examines the nature of stigma and identifies a number of stigma management strategies adopted by people with tattoos. However, this research was conducted at a time when tattoo art was largely confined to particular groups and members of society. In recent years tattooing has transformed dramatically, such that the practice has become commodified and embedded in everyday production and consumption practices. Consequently, our study examines the changing nature of tattoo-related stigma, and the subsequent impact this has had on the strategies employed by consumers to manage this stigma. Emerging stigma management strategies are identified and discussed within the context of an emergent stigma, the “stigma of the commodity.”