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The ‘Goth’ subculture

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Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
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Many thanks for your understanding.

GothIn Tuesday’s G2, Dave Simpson argued that the Goth subculture amongst sections of today’s youth is probably a good thing (via). Quoting an academic from Sussex University:

Most youth subcultures encourage people to drop out of school and do illegal things. Most goths are well educated, however. They hardly ever drop out and are often the best pupils. The subculture encourages interest in classical education, especially the arts. I’d say goths are more likely to make careers in web design, computer programming … even journalism.

This is not normally the kind of thing I’d pick up on. I knew many goths, but could never claim to have been one. However, something does quite regularly strike me. Often, on a Wednesday, I trundle back from my morning in GP Land and stop off at Sainsbury’s to pick up some groceries and other sundries. Now, my local branch of Sainsbury’s (which is laid out most oddly, but that’s by-the-by) is just down the road from the local Sixth Form College, and many of the students pop down there to purchase their lunch (and they might possible pick up some other sundries too).

As I’ve shopped, I’ve become increasingly aware of the disdainful attitude of the staff and other customers towards these youths – some of whom are dressed in the Gothic style. This is despite that fact that during my regular visits, I have never – never – seen any of the pupils misbehaving in the shop. Yes, they’re boisterous and occasionally loud, but that’s not really doing anyone any harm. I can quite easily pick up my shopping with no trouble whatsoever. And yet these young people are tutted at, often stalked by staff, and generally treated as second-class citizens. This is based purely on their profile as young people.

I ask you, if the staff of Sainsbury’s had a similarly negative attitude towards elderly people, would it be acceptable? Certainly not. And yet the elderly cause more logistical headaches for the supermarket than do the young people, through no fault of their own. They tend to require more assistance, and tend to spend longer in the shop, for example. The basis for the blatant discrimination against the young people appears to be a popular stereotype perpetuated by the popular press, and no-one complains about this. Society views youngsters and a nuisance, not recognising that these are the doctors, lawyers, and priests of the future, whilst simultaneously rejecting the disrespect of the elderly based on their past lives as doctors, lawyers, and priests. And yet surely it is more logical to respect someone for what they have the potential to become than to respect them for what they have been, and will never be again.

If a section of the community is not respected, then respect is not fostered within that group. If we insist on discriminating against and criminalising the harmless, natural activities of the teenagers of this country, then we cause more problems than we solve. So next time you see a ‘goth’, or read about some kid being given an ‘ASBO’, please look beyond the stereotype, and respect that the individual you’re tutting at today might well be caring for you tomorrow.

This 845th post was filed under: Headliner, Media.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 10th July 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd June 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 7th May 2017)

i is the lovechild of The Independent and Metro (published 27th October 2010)

2D: Social media (published 31st July 2013)

Hain: Vote for the Lib Dems and you will risk a Tory victory (published 28th March 2005)

Uncle Rumple (published 4th February 2004)


Comments and responses

Comment from Anonymous


by Anonymous

Comment posted at 07:19 on 8th January 2007.

I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!
😡


Comment from Karl Rohr


by Karl Rohr

Comment posted at 13:33 on 9th February 2007.

Yea, I am sick of the discrimination I suffer everytime I walk through town. By the way, check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/godhatesgoth
In my oppinon it is a Neo Christian cult, mind you I am methodist myself. I hope you continue doing research and writing off of this artical. Contact me at diablo_hellsing@yahoo.com If anyone would like to discuss this issue with me.


Comment from kinjya


by kinjya

Comment posted at 19:02 on 27th February 2007.

you know its about time i find something good about the stuff i am known for, i am known as gothic at my school and everyone around here thinks gothic people are all suicidal and wanna kill everyone, well, i want my education, and yea maybe i hunt but not to kill peopl, and also, i am a nice person alot of the time, but all people think when they see me is death girl and stay away she might kill us all, i like hearing good things about all this, not like alot of people who think we are bad people without knowing us…

sincerely yours: kinjya of the ghostpack


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 21:31 on 28th February 2007.

I’m glad you’ve both found this page, and glad you agree! Thanks for your comments.


Comment from Lily


by Lily

Comment posted at 23:07 on 7th June 2007.

Yes, very well put. I’ve been what you might call “goth” for well over 18 years now (nope, haven’t “grown out of it”). And I AM a nurse. Of course, when on the job and wearing surgical scrubs, deciphering that I’m a goth is a bit tricky.


Comment from Anonymous


by Anonymous

Comment posted at 12:04 on 11th June 2007.

I like this as it proves that we are not monsters intent on destruction and ‘self harm’. there will always be extremists in every subculture. so why is it just this culture that seems to be picked on?


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 09:46 on 12th June 2007.

Thanks for your comments, Lily and Anon. It’s always interesting to read the views of “goths” themselves on this issue. 🙂


Comment from Kinjya


by Kinjya

Comment posted at 13:32 on 21st November 2007.

i figures i would drop in to see what is happening here now, its been a while, still the same as before, still treated the same by alot of people at my school, just figured that you should all know, people fear what they dont understand, and dont want to take the time to understand what they do not know about, they jump to too many conclusions, my parents said i would grow out of the “gothic scene” but ive been like this for as long as i can remember, just want to let all of you know, dont let what others say stop you from being who you are, and dont let them make you change, you make your own furture…

once again…
sincerely.. Kinjya Of The Ghostpack


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Trackback received at 07:22 on 18th November 2008.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » The BBC’s “Have Your Say” feature adds value


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