A Study of Gothic Subculture

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Updated 3-12-2009
   Home > What Is Gothic? > Critical Analysis >
Origins  |  Common Culture  |  Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis

Gothic culture is a multifaceted entity with several different aspects; there are at least three major components of the subculture. One aspect is involvement in the gothic social scene -- especially frequenting clubs and knowing others involved in the scene. To outsiders, gothic is almost always evaluated by what is known of the visible social scene. The scene ideally facilitates the exchange of ideas and draws individuals of like mind and interests together. In reality, it is most often a social group similar to other social groups and cliques in structure and function, i.e. it provides a sense of belonging, contains unspoken social hierarchies, establishes norms of social behavior, etc. It must be noted that gaining acceptance in the social scene is not necessarily an interest of everyone involved in gothic culture. It often becomes progressively less important to individuals as they grow older through their 20's and 30's.

Another essential aspect is having a gothic personality. In short, this includes individualism, an interest in the darker side of life and the supernatural, focus on beauty and dark aesthetics, art, emotion, creativity, intellectualism, mystery, and drama. Almost everyone in the subculture would probably agree that possessing the gothic personality is ultimately what makes someone gothic.

The last is a passion for gothic music. The subculture is musically based and driven; the music is what holds the social scene together. As the music changes, the direction of the scene changes. Music is most often the reason cited for continued involvement in gothic culture over the years. Read the Music category for more.

These three aspects of gothic culture are interdependent in many ways; they are intertwined to make up the whole picture. However, each of the three does not possess the same amount of importance to different individuals; some people may only be involved in one or two of those three aspects. Further examination follows.

Critical Analysis Table of Contents

Acceptance in the Social Scene Analysis of the criteria used by the social scene to establish whether someone should be considered "gothic" or not.
Stereotype Description of the Goth stereotype and the lyrics to a few songs.
Why Kids Cut Themselves While they do not intend to kill themselves, cutting is common among teenagers.
The Appeal of Graveyards Goths may seem creepy for it, but there are reasons for spending time in graveyards.
Blood Letting and Drinking Blood is a powerful life force. Those who drink it are taking the symbolic into the literal.
The Gothic "Death Fixation" An opinionated take on the supposed Gothic death fixation.
Are Goths Really Depressed? A theory to answer the question of whether or not Goths are depressed more than anyone else.