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A class act? Social background and body modifications in Australia


Tranter, B and Grant, R, A class act? Social background and body modifications in Australia, Journal of Sociology, 54, (3) pp. 412-428. ISSN 1440-7833 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2018

DOI: doi:10.1177/1440783318755017


Are we witnessing the democratisation of body modification in Australia? The prevalence and social background of body modifications is examined using national and state-level survey data from 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 have body piercings, although in Queensland, young women are more likely than young men to be tattooed. Important life events such as pregnancy, separating from a long-term partner or experiencing violence are also associated with body modifications. While body modifications may be 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 described as normative.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, body piercing, BMI, Bourdieu, health, social class, tattoo
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Tranter, B (Professor Bruce Tranter)
UTAS Author:Grant, R (Dr Ruby Grant)
ID Code:123983
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2018-02-05
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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