1.2 Social Control Conformity and Resistance -Case Studies Flashcards


Hodkinson’s study of goth subculture



This is an ethnographic study of a distinctive subculture which emerged from post-punk styles in the 1980s.

The Goth style involves the sombre and macabre, with black dominant in clothing but Hodkinson shows that this does not mean a gloomy outlook on life. He was a participant himself in the Goth scene and describes his role as a ‘critical insider’. He shows that for many Goths, being a Goth was a very important part of their identity, with some describing it as being like belonging to a tribe.

For many of them, taking part in subcultural events (such as specialist Goth club and pub nights, and annual festivals) were major activities that led to them socialising more with Goths than non-Goths. Goths were often geographically dispersed but links with other Goths and with the subculture were strong through use of specialist Goth shops and media.

Overall, the research shows how subcultures continue to provide distinctive alternatives to mainstream culture despite the postmodern claim that ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ styles with little substance or meaning have replaced subcultures.

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