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Deviant Behavior/Tattoos Essay

Beginning from a child we begin to experience different situations and interactions with others. We start getting taught the difference between right and wrong, what may be considered good and what is considered bad, and also taught the things we should and should not do. As we grow older we try to refrain from behavior of which society may disapprove of. Society see’s certain types of behavior as being deviant. First let’s begin by explaining what is a deviant behavior?

Deviant behavior can be any behavior that does not conform to what people may consider normal, a behavior that does not meet with many expectations in society. Societies are both social structure and culture. Robert K Merton developed structural strain theory which is a perspective on what is deviance (Crossman, (n. d. )). There are many variations or meanings of what can be considered a deviant behavior. Merton has five categories in which he classified as conformists, ritualists, innovators, retreatists and rebels.

Everyone at some time in their life has done a deviant act, some may have continued on with that behavior. Rebels stands up to their own opinions and disregard what is norm or others opinions. Rebels can be considered deviant because of their choices in life. Tattooed people are considered rebels because they decided to mark the skin with art. For instance are tattoos considered a deviant behavior? There was a study done at the Texas Tech University which its findings stated that the number of tattoos that a person has then the more “deviance” they are involved in (Beck, (n. . )). Their findings were based off of people who may have one tattoo versus those with four or more tattoos. Some would say that people with tattoos are rebels and deviant. Tattooed people considered risk-takers and non-conforming (Arndt, A. , Glassman, M. , 2012). Today tattoos have started to become more accepted from work environments to everyday life. Some view tattoos as a form of art. Tattoos have become increasingly common among the current generations. Tattoos have become somewhat of a fashion statement.

Tattoos are stigmatized as aggressive and deviant because it was once commonly known among “out group”, outlaws, criminals, bikers, prisoners, and etc. , (Heywood,Patrick, Smith, Pitts, Richters, Shelley, (n. d)). People who obtain tattoos are more perceived negatively towards tattooed figures than that of non-tattooed adults. Women with tattoos are more negatively looked upon than men. There is a type of control over people with tattoos and employment. Many employers try not to hire people with tattoos especially as sales representatives.

Studies have showed that people with tattoos that are interested in what is sold would gravitate more towards a sales representative with tattoos. As a female with tattoos, I can say that I have personally seen the difference in the way that people may treat me because of my body modifications. Even with body modifications studies may show that the more tattoos and piercings the more deviant the person. I cannot truly agree with this. Tattoos in the tattoo wearer’s eyes are more of a creative freedom or an art form.


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