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    The Gothic sub-cultures Essay Thesis

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    Shaking off the parental dependency of childhood, but not yet indoctrinated into the responsibilities and corporate pigeonholing of the workplace, youths are forced to spend more time developing and displaying their identity. Adolescence is hailed as a time in which youths can find themselves. The ‘halfway house’ of being a child and being an adult can produce hostility and anxiousness about a hostile world, in which they are at the bottom of the food chain.

    Tribalism thus becomes a tool of survival, as youths look for support in a world they don’t quite understand or hold power in. The authority and class structure imposed upon teenagers is intrinsic in this scenario, as the dominant authorities (parents, teachers or police) are often seen by youths as the enemy, consistently trying to oppress the rebellious youth and impose their class structures. As a youth feels disempowered by system, they will break away and create a new class system, through which they are empowered.

    Parents, reminiscent of their child’s innocence and aware of the dangers their child will face in a hostile world will often, quite understandably, try to protect their child. As the adolescent grows and the rules that once kept them disciplined as children begin to have less authority, a sense of curiosity and the search for acceptance and identity often overrides the rules that their parents try to enforce. Often a communication breakdown between parents and children develops. Mis-comminication leads to mis-understranding and suspicion.

    Secrecy is natural tendency of teenagers, possibly a result of the constant assumption by older generations who adhere to a patriarchal system, that teenagers are not ‘old enough to know best,’ and require direction and instruction from authoritative figures. Often, as I know from experience, deception is an easier way to gain freedom in ones activities, thus propagating a pattern of dishonesty and lack of trust between parent and child. Is is true, nonetheless, that many of the activities that youths of today partake in, such as drugs, unsafe sex, fighting and drink driving are dangerous and do warrant suspicion.

    Moral panic is often caused by popular media playing on stereotypes to create a sensational story and sell more papers. Due to poor media coverage in other instances, it arouses fear amongst the community due to ignorance. The fact remains, however, that teenagers need to experiment and explore. Humans learn from their mistakes and need life experience in order to grow. If the line of communication, respect and acceptance can be upheld between a parent and their child, unnecessary levels of ignorance and suspicion are lessened and the dangers involved in teenage pastimes reduced.

    Bibliography Beswick, J. 1993, Helter-Skelter, available: http://www. vamp. org/gothic/text/anthro. html Accessed 18/4/04 Bexton, W. 1995, Spatial Boundaries: Etiquette and interpersonal interaction at a Gothic club, http://www. vamp. org/gothic/text/anthropaper. html Accessed: 21/4/04. Finnriorden, M. 1995, A Historical Anthology about Punk Gothic Industrial and Dark Wave Music in Melbourne 1978 – Present, Moonlight Publishing, Melbourne. Hebdidge, D. 1979, Subculture, the Meaning of Style. Excerpt as found in the course reader. Mark.

    T, 1999, A New Approach to Youth Subculture Theory, Available : http://www. sonlifeafrica. com/model/subcult3. htm Accessed 16/5/04. Robinson B. A. 2004, The Goth Culture: Its history, stereotypes, religious connections. Available: http://www. religioustolerance. org/goth. htm. Accessed: 29/5/04 Smith, A. P. 2003, Inside Look at Gothic for Outsiders, available: http://www. gothicsubculture. com. Accessed 16/5/04 Thompson D. and Greene J. 1994, Undead Undead Undead Alternative Press, available: http://www. darkwaver. com/subculture/articles/undead. php Accessed 18/4/04.

    I also used a friend of mine, Primrose Campbell, who was much more heavily into the Gothic sub-culture as a teenager as a source of information. NB I just wanted to note that, although factual and historical information and some other ideas were sourced from research, the majority of the information, references and speculation on both Gothic and youth sub-cultures, was sourced from personal experience. It wasn’t that long ago that I was another one of those teenagers questioning identity and authority, looking for belonging and experimenting with different sub-cultures.

    I feel that this information and personal experience within the topic of discussion that I have chosen, is just as relevant as an academic opinion or the speculations of other people. i Smith, A. P. 9/28/03, http://www. gothicsubculture. com ii Thompson D. and Greene J. 1994, http://www. darkwaver. com/subculture/articles/undead. php iii Finnriorden, M. 1995. iv Robinson B. A. 2004, http://www. religioustolerance. org/goth. htm. v Robinson B. A. 2004, http://www. religioustolerance. org/goth. htm.

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