The problem of contemporary graffiti.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis is about the normative question as to whether graffiti should be encouraged, tolerated, or discouraged in our public places. The definition of the term is highly contested, as will be discussed in these pages. For present purposes it will suffice to characterise graffiti, approximately, as unsolicited public inscription. Thus, to employ Stewart‘s taxonomy, graffiti includes everything from agnominal, or personal name; amorous; obscene; intellectual; and protest graffiti (Stewart, 1989, p.16). There are, broadly, three possible positions to take with regard to whether graffiti should be allowed in public spaces: (1) The Restrictive View: Graffiti should not be allowed (all graffiti is harmful) (2) The Moderate View: Graffiti should be allowed in some cases and not in others (some graffiti is harmful, some has value) (3) The Permissive View: Graffiti should always be allowed (all graffiti has value)