"It's just some numbers": Awareness of far-right tattoos

Conference paper


Hallenberg, K. and Blackburn, B. 2022. "It's just some numbers": Awareness of far-right tattoos.
AuthorsHallenberg, K. and Blackburn, B.
TypeConference paper
Description

Whilst information and legislation around the practice of tattooing and associated health risks (PHE, 2013) is readily available, the ethics of tattooing, particularly the ethics of supporting customers to understand the meaning of their tattoos, is less so.

Tattoos that convey a hidden meaning are prevalent among far-right groups (Birkett 2021) and identification of such symbols is widely utilised in combatting extremism (e.g. CTPHQ 2021, ADL 2022). Crusader imagery (Koch 2017), memes and meme culture (Bogerts and Felitz 2019 & De Crook 2018), Viking or Norse iconography (Miller-Idriss 2017) and punk aesthetic (Raposos and Bentley 2020) have all been associated with the far-right. However, none of these studies look at the process of being tattooed, determining the meaning of their proposed tattoo, or the role of the tattooist.   

This paper reports preliminary findings of phase one of a project on seeking to address these questions. A sample of ~250 university students were surveyed about their own tattoos and meaning behind them, before asked to interpret the meaning behind different symbols, some overtly or covertly associated with extremist groups, and their suitability as tattoos, looking at the aesthetic appeal of the symbol as well as the meaning.

KeywordsExtremism; Far-right; Tattoos; Symbols
Year2022
ConferenceBritish Society of Criminology Conference
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Open
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Deposited26 Jul 2023
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/95156/-it-s-just-some-numbers-awareness-of-far-right-tattoos

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