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Graffiti: Whether It Is a Good or Bad Side of Society

Graffiti is one of the most exciting and thrilling type of modern art. Different people consider art in different ways. Some understand it as the expression of people’s souls and ideas about society and life in general, the others are afraid of it and express their mistrust to people who are fond of it. There are people for whom graffiti is a way of expression of disagreement with modern politicians, and they use it as the mass media, in order to show people their disagreement or approval of current political actions. There are a lot of different judgements and perception of graffiti and to understand each of it, the aim of graffiti should be considered from different sides.

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To start with, it could be to the point to consider ancient graffiti, as this type of subculture appeared thousand years ago, with the appearance of language. The question whether ancient pictures on the walls is possible to consider as graffiti or not continue till now. Wall writing is considered as a representation of people’s culture. During different times, in different countries the culture gave push to the graffiti. Graffiti reflected people’s way of life and the facilities they used. Pictures on the walls were the expressions of people’s soul condition (Benavides-Vanegas, 2005).

Graffiti later became the way of protest against political affairs. It is the way to show people’s resistance to modern political issues, to modern system. During the time of imperialism, graffiti became the sort of mass media. Television and radio were main components in expressing politicians’ points of view and graffiti was the citizens’ voice (Benavides-Vanegas, 2005). Event today this tradition remains. The citizens’ dissatisfaction with the politics may take people out of their houses with the cans full of stains. Using graffiti began to be one of the ways to contest the state.

Remembering the past history and looking on some political events in foreign countries people understand that using graffiti as the expression of the public opinion remains one of the best ways to tell the government about social mood, about social opinion about this or that political event.

The graffiti in modern world is also considered as a crime. Some people insert graffiti in the same line with danger, crime, dirt, vandalism, noise, and drugs. People consider graffiti social disorder. (Ross and Jang 2000) The reasons for that may be different: a lot of people associate graffiti with criminal gangs who identify and mark their territory by means of graffiti. This business position occurs in society. Different gangs use graffiti with different purposes: “to affirm gang identity, to affirm member identity, to mark territorial ownership rights, to issue a challenge, to memorialize a deceased member, to disrespect a rival gang’s deceased member, to celebrate violent acts, to list intended victims or to intimidate rival gangs” (Griffin and Meacham, 2002). There is a tradition to communicate by means of graffiti with other gangs. Having seen the graffiti on their houses, people begin to feel fear, as it means that their region is not so safe as they used to think.

Considering the level of fear and mistrust, some sampling was provided and the results were as follows, the places which appear in neighborhood with different disorders (graffiti is one of them), the level of fear and mistrust was much higher from the regions, where people felt control and protection, where no graffiti was seen (Ross and Jang, 2000).

People who use graffiti as the way of expression their thoughts are in most cases inoffensive. The graffiti is considered by them as art and people should admire this art. Graffiti has its collection own signs. These sign should not be translated, they should just be interpreted. People who create graffiti have developed some sort of new language, which can be read through the oblique and hybrid symbols on the walls (Lisle 2006). Graffiti appeared to be subculture through the prism of which artists express their attitude to the world, as authors express their thoughts in reference to world in their books.

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While some people are afraid of graffiti, the others use it for teaching. Graffiti appeared to be one of the ways to “synthesize information across multiple texts” (Massey and Heafner 2004). The main idea of this technique is to complete Graffiti picture individually, then these sheets with graffiti should be given to the groups and brainstorming process stars. The main idea is to solve the graffiti signs and to create a thesis statement (Massey and Heafner, 2004).

So, graffiti is perceived differently by different people. In light of the fact that wall painting is a subculture, people admire it as the pieces of art. But despite this fact, there are people who consider graffiti as crime and are afraid of it. It is impossible to state whether graffiti is good or bad as there are at least two opposite aims of wall painting, and it is crucial how you distinguish this wall painting, whether you understand it of afraid of. But the further study may be continued with the comprehension of the reasons both for positive and negative attitude to the wall painting.

Works Cited

  1. Benavides-Vanegas, Farid Samir. “From Santander to Camilo and Che: Graffiti and Resistance in Contemporary Colombia.” Social Justice 32.1 (2005)
  2. Griffin, Melody, and Mike Meacham. “Gangs in Schools: An Introduction to the Problem and Interventions.” Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association 5.4 (2002)
  3. Lisle, Debbie. “Local Symbols, Global Networks: Rereading the Murals of Belfast.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 31.1 (2006)
  4. Massey, Dixie D., and Tina L. Heafner. “Promoting Reading Comprehension in Social Studies: Using the Scaffolded Reading Experience Approach as a Framework, the Authors Provide Teachers in Middle and Secondary Schools with Concrete Techniques for Teaching Reading and Content Area Subjects.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 48.1 (2004)
  5. Ross, Catherine E., and Sung Joon Jang. “Neighborhood Disorder, Fear, and Mistrust: The Buffering Role of Social Ties with Neighbors [1].” American Journal of Community Psychology 28.4 (2000)

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1. StudyCorgi. "Graffiti: Whether It Is a Good or Bad Side of Society." October 31, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Graffiti: Whether It Is a Good or Bad Side of Society." October 31, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Graffiti: Whether It Is a Good or Bad Side of Society." October 31, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Graffiti: Whether It Is a Good or Bad Side of Society'. 31 October.

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