Abstract | Abstract
Bodil Stilling Blichfeldt, Emilie Wammen, Zuzana Krystynovaand Tobias Bjørn Consumption of tattoos. Getting, Having and Being. In recent years the scope of consumption studies has expanded and increasingly includes studies of more ‘untraditional’ consumption acts. However, few studies have looked at the consumption of tattoos. Tattoos are interesting in a consumption context since they are, literally, very durable ‘products’ difficult to ‘dispose’ of. In the paper, we account for the results of a qualitative study of tattoos as consumption that both has tribal elements and is highly intertwined with identity construction. A key finding is that there seems to be major differences between people with only one, or a few, tattoos and heavily tattooed people. To the first group, the decision to get a tattoo as well as the design of the tattoo are crucial, and more often than not the tattoo qualifies as a signifier of a special event, occasion or relation to significant others. To the other group the tattoo itself is of lesser importance as this group enacts being heavily tattooed as tribal and seems more interested in (or even addicted to) the act of actually getting tattooed than in having a tattoo.