Instagraff—The Influence of Web 2.0, Social Media, and User-Created Content Upon Graffiti Culture Performed in Cyber/Space

  • Nicola HardingEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)


Instagraff, graffiti found on the social media website Instagram, examines social and technological advances that have prompted graffiti culture to appear ‘mainstream’. Recognising the birth of Web 2.0 as a key turning point, this study analyses images from social media accounts of graffiti writers, relating them to the works of Goffman (The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. University of Edinburgh and Doubleday, 1959), Burgess (Vernacular Creativity and New Media. Queensland University of Technology, Australia, 2007), and Baudrillard (The Consumer Society. Sage Publications, 1970). Its findings suggest that online representations of graffiti culture are no longer necessarily based upon sensory, deviant, risk-taking associated with urban graffiti. The use of social media by young would-be graffiti writers has created new avenues for the commercialisation of a vibrant, but deviant, subculture. Therefore, graffiti shared on social media cannot be considered a true representation of graffiti subculture, but a procession of simulacra, developing new forms of graffiti culture dislocated from graffiti’s deviant origins.


Graffiti Social media Web 2.0 Subculture Visual criminology Cultural criminology 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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