Research on the Prevalence of Tattoos with The Help of Social Theories

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The popularity of tattoos between the ages 18 to 29 can be explained a little by the help of three social theories: division of labor, functionalism, and the rational choice theories. Tattoos have become such a common thing to see on people of a variety of ages, especially younger people. Seeing as younger people are a part of the modern society community it seems reasonable for tattoos to be found more common on younger people than it is on the elderly. The reason I believe this is reasonable is because Durkheim explains in division of labor how in the more traditional society majority of people all had the same beliefs; one belief could possibly be that tattoos can affect how professional one may look.

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I know a lot of older people in my family who constantly think that about tattoos while my cousins and I just stand there in disbelief. We grew up being part of a modern society. In our modern society we perceive tattoos as ways to be able to express meaningful things. A theory that helps the prevalence of tattoos is functionalism. Functionalism views society as a whole meaning that if something would disrupt the flow of society, we, as a society, will try our best to adapt with the change. So let’s say the traditional society just found out about tattoos, they might not approve of them, but as they start to notice that tattoos are becoming popular, they realize that they now have to adapt to tattoos. Sooner or later, they start to get use to it and now they see tattoos as a social norm.

Another theory I believe can support the popularity of tattoos is the rational choice theory. The rational choice theory claims how people feel the need to take into account other people’s choice before they are able to decide on their own choice. For example, for this midterm, when having to choose five questions out of the seven I felt the need to discuss with a classmates which questions they were planning to do in order for me to be able to make a decision on which questions to choose. In the case of tattoos, someone might feel as if they want to get a tattoo and in order for them to make the choice of getting the tattoo or not, they have to think about things like, “Oh how many of my friends have tattoos?” just so they can decide whether they want a tattoo or not. Also, getting a tattoo might be seen a rational decision because a majority of tattoos on people’s bodies hold some kind of personal meaning. Knowing that one might have something meaningful and special to them imprinted on them for everyone else to see can actual take away attention from the action of getting the tattoo, especially knowing they are very common within their own society.

Tattoos are a social norm in modern society, so getting tattoo may not feel too crazy to do to someone just because a lot of other people from many different communities have tattoos as well. Division of labor, functionalism, and the rational choice theory are the three social theories that I believe are able to help explain the prevalence of tattoos.

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