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A class act? Social background and body modifications in Australia

Tranter, BK ORCID: 0000-0002-0649-6065 and Grant, RF ORCID: 0000-0003-3007-0168 2018 , 'A class act? Social background and body modifications in Australia' , Journal of Sociology , pp. 1-17 , doi: 10.1177/1440783318755017.

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Abstract

Are we witnessing the democratisation of body modification in Australia? The prevalence andsocial background of body modifications is examined using national and state-level survey datafrom Australia. We find body modifications to be more prevalent among younger, less educated,working-class, non-conservative Australians. Women are far more likely than men are to havebody piercings, although in Queensland, young women are more likely than young men tobe tattooed. Important life events such as pregnancy, separating from a long-term partner orexperiencing violence are also associated with body modifications. While body modifications maybe on the rise, social factors still influence the uptake of body modification practices in Australia,suggesting these are socially circumscribed taste-based practices, and should not yet be describedas normative.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Tranter, BK and Grant, RF
Keywords: Australia, body piercing, BMI, Bourdieu, health, social class, tattoo
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sociology
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 1440-7833
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/1440783318755017
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2018

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