This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Body Modification Deviance In Society

2627 words - 11 pages

The last decade has seen a dramatic rise in spectacular forms of body modification, including the tattoo renaissance and the phenomena of body piercing, the emergence of neo-tribal practices like scarification and the invention of new, high-tech forms of body art like sub-dermal implants. Therefore, body modification practices have proven to be an interesting field of study for sociologists interested in deviance, social control, and the social construction of problematic behaviour.Much of the sociological research and literature into these practices fits within the symbolic interaction tradition, focusing specifically on the ways that people define body modification, and whether or not they perceive it as being scary or beautiful, dangerous or alluring, rebellious or inclusive. This essay explores the connections between body modification and deviance and seeks to identify whether physical alterations of the body are a rite of passage, a group identifier, or a mechanism of negative sanctioning and social control, believed to be key elements in the social construction of deviant self-identities.The origins of the cultural trend of body modification, unlike those of nearly all other fads, are thousands of years old. Ever since our Neolithic ancestors invented art tens of thousands of years ago, humans have been decorating the human body, as it is the most intimate of canvas (Siebers 2000, p. 212). Most sociological theory about body modification is framed in discussions of labelling and differential association orientations which explain social definitions and the processes through which body modifiers learn how to be successful in changing the ways their bodies look to themselves, and to those with whom they come in contact.The cause of controversy surrounding the issues of tattooing and piercings is directly rooted in the message that these forms of body modification present. The one essential feature all of these deviants share is visibility; they are all, by definition, overt deviants whose rule breaking is immediately apparent. Their deviance is rooted, not in what they have done, or even who they are, but in how they appear (Heitzeg 1996, p.358), therefore, this type of deviance is highly diverse with regard to the how and why of rule breaking.In modern contexts, body modification practices can be seen as symbolic as they represent the death of conventional beauty standards and the rebirth of new ideals of attractiveness by challenging the classical ideal of the skin as 'a pristine smooth closed envelope for the self' (Pitts 2003, p.92). Hence, when a person submits the body to the modification process, it damages the skins basic structure and its integrity, which contradicts the western notion of the body as fixed and unchanging.The fact that Western society is not overtly tribal or strictly racially segregated (Atkinson 2003, p. 99) is perhaps one of the reasons why the importance of bodily appearance in constructing social identity is...

Find Another Essay On Body Modification - Deviance in Society

The Interest and Prevalence in Body Modification

588 words - 3 pages tattooing and piercing on various parts of the human anatomy – studs and rings in noses, lips and navels, tattoos on almost every part of the body some of us never thought was possible. Tattooing and scarification, which has now gone mainstream, were once correlated with more deviant social groups in the United States. However, more often than not, body modification is still seen as an act of deviance – an anomaly amongst the norms that have been

Deviance In Society: Wideman's Our Time

1664 words - 7 pages Preface Often, when a story is told, it follows the events of the protagonist. It is told in a way that justifies the reasons and emotions behind the protagonist actions and reactions. While listening to the story being cited, one tends to forget about the other side of the story, about the antagonist motivations, about all the reasons that justify the antagonist actions. Deviance in Society Wideman’s writing is uniquely

Benefits of Recreation in Society and on the Body

1611 words - 6 pages Benefits of Recreation in Society and on the Body Recreation ========== We've all heard it before, "Personal recreational activities involves those actions that relax, refresh, and rejuvenate us" - yet how much do we truly gain from these activities? Recreation is a healthy part of each individual's own life and can be enjoyed by everyone. The benefits of recreation are not only positive to the community of

Explain why is it important to analyse deviance in society. Using examples to illustrate your answer, discuss what such an analysis can tell us about the social and political implications of deviance

1372 words - 5 pages The expression, deviance draws reference to frown upon behaviour in a social context; the breach of various concerted norm that generally exist in a community or in society (Newman 2004). Some types of deviance are determined by criminal law, others by social standards, morality, the expectations of certain social groups, the welfare system or the medical vocation (Roach-anleu 2003).It is subjective to classify what is regarded as deviant since

homosexuality deviance behavior in society by look at functionalist perspective

1437 words - 6 pages ). Advocating these policies, which meant greater sexual freedom and independence, generated controversy and proved costly to politicians.3. DemocracyThe more democratic a country is, the more developed its civil society and the more open the government to the autonomous organizing of women's groups, particularly grass-roots and working-class movements. In addition, since democratically-elected politicians depend on public approval and need to promote an

Trapped in the Body of Society

1892 words - 8 pages strong patriarchal society, her novel also portrays a society very similar to the one she lives in because throughout her life she has lived in and been constantly affected by a world dominated by men. While Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights portrays a headstrong young woman with the potential for heroism in Catherine Earnshaw, the novel proves that destruction and chaos emerge when patriarchal society tries to tame women and bring them out of their

Body Image. An essay which involves discussion of why body image is so important to society in the present times

1198 words - 5 pages Body image involves our perception, imagination, emotions, and physical sensations about our bodies. It's not based on fact. It's psychological in nature, and more influenced by self-esteem than by actual physical attractiveness as judged by others. It is not inborn, but learned. This learning occurs in families and among peers, but these only reinforce what is learned and expected culturally.In this culture, women are starving themselves

This essay explains the benefits of recreation in society and on the body. It is in full MLA format alond with works cited page. It was a graduation requirement, so i put alot of time into it

1279 words - 5 pages RecreationWe've all heard it before, "Personal recreational activities involves those actions that relax, refresh, and rejuvenate us" - yet how much do we truly gain from these activities? Recreation is a healthy part of each individual's own life and can be enjoyed by everyone. The benefits of recreation are not only positive to the community of today, but to the society of tomorrow.The positive outlook on recreation is unlimited and endless in

Why do some people modify their bodies?

819 words - 4 pages Introduction Body modification has been prevalent in society for centuries. It is defined as "the deliberate altering of the human body for any non-medical reason, such as aesthetics, sexual enhancements, a rite of passage, and religious reasons, to display a group affiliation, to create body art, shock value, or self expression." (Wikepidia.org). Put in its simplest term body modification is defined as “deliberately alter one’s physical

Social Deviance and Social Norms

1191 words - 5 pages old. To Americans, that is considered child abuse and rape, but that is only because of our social norms. To the men and parents in different countries, it is perfectly normal because their social norms. In America, social deviance comes in many different forms. We have our sexual deviants, criminal deviants, body modification deviants and many others. The definition of social deviance is constantly changing due to the acceptance of deviant

Why Do Some People Modify Their Bodies and What Light Does Sociology Cast on These Practices?

2377 words - 10 pages people deliberately alter their bodies. For some sociologists body modification is viewed as a way in which individuals can express themselves. Others argue that it is a form of social deviance or political resistance. For Durkheim, body modification in elementary society is seen as “a symbol of membership within the group” as discussed in his book ‘Elementary Forms of the Religious Life’ (Durkheim,1965, p.137). He describes how

Similar Essays

Body Modification In America Essay

697 words - 3 pages Body modification in American Culture In recent years tattooing and body piercing have become increasingly prevalent in popular culture. These forms of body modification are no longer tools used by criminals and gang member, showing their role in society. These practices are used by many of teenagers and young adults in our society today. In fact many of these practices have been a positive trend in American culture, giving adolescents a way of

Deviance In Society Essay

648 words - 3 pages What does it mean to say, “deviance is socially defined?”      Deviance is defined as, “The recognized violation of cultural norms.” Deviance is an act of rebellion against set of rules, and expected behavior established by a certain society. Deviance is defined in many different ways. It is depended on the norms of the society, and region. Individuals become deviant when people label their actions as deviance. It

Deviance In Society Essay

1587 words - 6 pages members are expected to act, and draws a line between what is acceptable and unacceptable. Despite efforts to enforce norms through social control, there are many people who deviate from these norms. Deviance is behavior that violates the standards of a group or society (Witt, 2013, p. 135). The act of deviance comes in many forms that range from harmless acts like a girl shaving her head, or it might be an action that is more extreme like

Deviance In Society The Sociology Of Deviance

2215 words - 9 pages between deviance and social control. In conclusion, an evaluation on the strengths and weaknesses of two of the more dominant sociological theories and perspectives, strain and labelling theory, which are believed by sociologists to explain the connections between deviance and social control in a changing society, will also be explored.Lupton, Short & Whip (1992, p.133) define social control as 'the means by which societies are stabilised' with