Tattoos or Body Art's Relation to Femininity, Identity and Consumption

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Patterson, M., & Schroeder, J. (2010). Borderlines: Skin, tattoos and consumer culture theory. Marketing Theory, 10, 253-267. DOI: 10.1177/1470593110373191

Assignment 1: Patterson & Schroeder Article Review

This essay critically reviews an academic article which applies consumer culture theory to identity formation by illustrating the association of skin and body art to femininity and commodification. The paper begins with a brief summary of the key points outlined in the article which is then followed by an analytical evaluation of these points. After which I will examine why I believe they were able to make a compelling argument. I then go on to critique the style of the article and discuss some of the weaknesses I found in the argument presented by the authors. I end with a suggested issue for further research. The authors of this article intend to examine the establishment of identity, both generally and embodied, within the consumer culture theoretical framework. In order to do so they describe three fundamental assertions which have been derived from consumer culture theory (CCT) and employ three metaphors to illustrate how these concepts prove to be problematic. They further develop evidence which challenges the proposed concepts by applying them to skin, and more specifically to the skin of heavily tattooed women. It is their assertion that skin serves as the principal site for individuals to imprint their ideologies and convey their stories, it brings together the natural and the social. The concept of femininity and cultural ideas of beauty also become intertwined in the conjectural work put forth by the authors. In their attempt to show a correlation between skin, identity, and consumption, the idea that heavily tattooed women collect body art in order to distinguish themselves from the masses and challenge existing gender stereotypes forms the foundation from which they argue. According to the article an individual’s production of self is...
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