Goth Subculture, pt. 3  

Lilithpriestess 41F
401 posts
7/1/2006 11:25 pm

Last Read:
7/6/2006 3:02 pm

Goth Subculture, pt. 3


Source: Wikipedia:

Gothic ideology

Defining an ideology of the gothic subculture is difficult for several reasons. First is the overwhelming importance of mood for those involved. This is, in part, inspired by romanticism and neoromanticism. The allure for goths of dark, mysterious, and morbid imagery and mood lies in the same tradition. The rise of Romanticism's gothic novel during the 19th century saw feelings of horror being commercially exploited as a form of mass entertainment, a process continued in the modern horror film. Balancing this emphasis on mood, the other central element of the subculture is a conscious sense of camp theatricality or self-dramatization.

The second impediment to defining a gothic ideology is goth's sometimes apolitical nature. While individual defiance of social norms was a very risky business in the nineteenth century, today it is far less socially radical. Thus, the significance of goth's subcultural rebellion is limited, and it draws on imagery at the heart of Western culture. Unlike the hippy or punk movements, the goth subculture has no pronounced political messages or cries for social activism. The subculture is marked by its emphasis on individualism, tolerance for (sexual) diversity, a strong emphasis on creativity, a dislike of social conservatism and a strong tendency towards cynicism, but even these ideas are not common to all goths. Goth ideology is based far more on aesthetics than ethics or politics.

For the individual goth, joining the subculture can be extremely valuable and personally fulfilling, especially in creative terms. However, it also can be risky, especially for the young, because of the negative attention it can attract. Many who are drawn to the culture have already failed to conform to the norms of existing society, and for its participants the gothic subculture provides an important way of experiencing a sense of community and validation not found in the outside world.

Religious elements

Spiritual, supernatural, and religious imagery has frequently played an important part in gothic fashion, song lyrics, and visual art. Aesthetic elements of Catholicism especially play a major role in goth culture.

However, the goth subculture contains a great diversity of religious and secularist beliefs. Many goths seek to free themselves from what they perceive as the limitations of traditional systems of religious belief, and express a belief in secularism, or New Age approaches to spirituality. A large number of goths adhere to atheism or agnosticism, not wanting to commit to organized religion. An interest in Neopaganism, spiritualism and the occult among goths appears to be greater than among the general population. However, many goths also follow world religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism.

Subcultural concepts

Elder goths

An elder goth is a senior member of the goth subculture, usually between the ages of 29 and 40. Elder goths are generally longtime veterans of the scene, perhaps going back to the Batcave era.

Elder goths are more likely to draw upon the artistic aspects of the scene, in contrast to their younger counterparts who are sometimes motivated to act for shock value. Older goths may regard those who act in this ways as poseurs. An elder goth may refuse to acknowledge them as fellow goths. In contrast to the stereotypical image of a goth as a maladjusted outcast loner, some elders are married with families, and most have close knit ties with other members of the subculture.

Corporate goths

Though some goths gravitate toward workplaces that allow a great deal of personal expression, or simply do not care what employees look like, others work in the corporate sector where certain dresscodes are enforced. They usually add a gothic twist to their ensembles; some would say they wear corporate gothwear, which satisfies gothic tastes in fashion without alienating more mainstream and conservative co-workers, as well as keeping with management policies. Corporate gothwear varies based on individual taste, though a David Bowie influence is often prevalent, as well as 1920s through 1960s styles.

A recent study by Sussex University suggests that goths are likely to grow up to be doctors, lawyers or architects, and that goths are usually intelligent, refined and sensitive, and keen on poetry and books.

Popular criticism and media characterizations

Like many other music based subcultures, goths have faced differing levels of social intolerance due mostly to outward stylistic appearances. Social intolerance ranges from looks of indignation and verbal taunts to physical violence. A preoccupation with themes of death, romance, the supernatural, darkness, the archaic, and the generally macabre have occasionally raised public concerns regarding the emotional well-being of, mainly, young goths and general fears of cultic indoctrination. Such conceptions are often reinforced by popular media, as exemplified in the Columbine High School Massacre, which was carried out by two troubled students inaccurately linked to the gothic subculture. The Columbine massacre caused a widespread public backlash against the goth scene in America; however, investigators of the incident later denied that any such link between the students and the goth scene, in fact, existed.

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There you go, your crash course in what Goth is...class dismissed!

Blessed Be & Flutter Free!


rm_wizard5516 51M
3 posts
7/2/2006 1:01 am

YOU COULDN'T BE MORE CORRECT IN YOUR "CRASH COURSE". MOST PEOPLE TODAY DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR THEIR PLACE IN THIS WORLD. I HAVE A SON THAT IS GOTHIC. I'M VERY PROUD OF HIM, DRUG FREE / RESPECTFULL / EMPLOYED / AND HAS HAD HIS STRUGGLES WITH ABUSE FROM HIS PEERS. HIS MOTHER IS FREAKING OUT AND STILL CAN'T EXCEPT HIM IN HIS STRUGGLE TO FIND HIMSELF BUT THAT IS HER PROBLEM. I GUESS I LEARNED TO VIEW THINGS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT WHEN I BECAME INVOLVED IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY EX-WIFE WHOM HAPPEN TO BE WICKEN. AND OFCOURSE I EXCEPTED THAT WITH OPEN EYES AND A STRONG INTEREST JUST AS I DO WITH MY SON WHO IS REALLY MY STEP-SON BUT I HAVE FEED HIM LONG ENOUGH HE LOOKS AND ACTS JUST LIKE ME.


rm_mtnravyn 61M
890 posts
7/2/2006 3:17 am

Well done. Was there any reference to the potential for some predators who use the culture for their own purposes. That has occassionally popped up in some areascof the country?

There have ben some other writers, not as famous as Rice, who have put a postive spin o some of the goth aspects. I will have to go back and find the authors names since my books are still in storage.


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