Goths represent one of the most arresting, distinctive and enduring subcultures of recent times. The dedication of those involved to a lifestyle which, from the outside, may appear dark and sinister, has spawned reactions ranging from admiration to alarm. Until now, no one has conducted a full-scale ethnographic study of this fascinating subcultural group. Based on extensive research by an 'insider', this is the first. Immersing us in the potent mix of identities, practices and values that make up the goth scene, the author takes us behind the faade of the goth mystique. From dress and musical tastes to social habits and the use of the internet, Hodkinson details the inner workings of this intriguing group. Defying postmodern theories that claim media and commerce break down substantive cultural groupings, Hodkinson shows how both have been used by goths to retain, and even strengthen, their group identity.Hodkinson provides a comprehensive reworking of subcultural theory, making a key contribution to the disciplines of sociology, cultural studies, youth studies, media studies, and popular music studies. Readable and accessible, this groundbreaking book presents a unique chance to engage with a contemporary, spectacular culture.
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Paul Hodkinson is a Lecturer in Sociology, at the University of Surrey.Review:
“I would recommend it as a valuable text that should be included on undergraduate reading lists for courses dealing with fan, music and popular cultures.” ―Garry Crawford, BSA
“While most of us might have moved swiftly on and started wearing baggy jeans, there remains an enormous goth subculture, which Hodkinson, proud to count himself a part of it, analyses stylishly in this "ethnographic study.” ―The Guardian
“Engaging.” ―The Daily Telegraph'
“A scholarly yet accessible text [that] successfully conveys what it means to be a Goth.” ―Sonic Seducer
“The first major anthropological study of UK Goths is a priceless work. [It is a] fascinating read that I found very difficult to put down.” ―Kaleidoscope
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