A barcode is a system of inventory control and price checking that was designed to increase industrial efficiency and worker productivity. The use of the barcode tattoo in The Bar Code Tattoo is used to organize people into a genetic hierarchy. This book serves as a warning, that if we are not careful, we are all in danger of being manipulated.
I am here to talk to you about peer pressure and conformity and how effective my book The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Wyen explored these issues. It was an effective in depth example of peer pressure and conformity which I will demonstrate through examples from the book.
The book takes place in the year 2025 where the new in thing is to get the barcode tattoo on your 17th birthday. The barcode contains all of your personal information: it is your driver's license, health card, social insurance number and your genetic code which will be used to determine what kind of life you live or whether you live at all. "Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity. But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code?" This tattoo is no longer a preference, but a law, and those who rise above it, such as the main character, are rejected and shunned. "For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run.for her life. Individuality vs. conformity, Identity vs. access, Freedom vs. control." This story is a strong reflection of where our world may be headed.
Peer pressure is the social pressure by members of one's peer group to take certain actions, adopt certain values or otherwise conform in order to be accepted. Everyone feels peer pressure at some point about the clothes they wear, the way they speak, and people they talk to. The Barcode Tattoo demonstrates this with the tattoo.