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Goth Subculture

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by

Cata Delgado

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of Goth Subculture

The appearance of a Goth is in itself going against what’s socially acceptable. They used their make-up in such a way as to give a look of death. White foundation is used to wipe any trace of color from the face, giving the Goth the appearance of death, of a creature returning from the grave. The eyes are usually accentuated with the use (or overuse) of black eyeliner and dark eye shadow, intensifying the sunken, deathly look. Black or very dark crimson red lipstick is used, again to heighten the impact of the deathly pallor.
A small minority of the Goth community also opt for the 'Vampire' look. This is achieved with artificial fangs, individually molded to fit over the individual’s incisors. On occasion this is combined with colored contact lenses (especially red) to mask the natural color of the individual’s eyes, giving a look which can only be described as demonic. There seems to be no correlation between hair styles and gender in the Goth world - hair styles are accepted as not being restricted to either sex or gender. Body piercing, particularly facial piercing is widely visible in the Goth subculture and completes the semi-permanent level of body rituals (semi-permanent as they can be removed almost without any trace of them ever having been in place). In contemporary society, ear piercing, for the most part, has become an accepted norm, for men as well as for women. Nose piercing has become an accepted norm amongst youth cultures, again for both men and women, but still remains something of a taboo amongst older generations. In the United States, nose piercing is still frowned upon in all but the largest and most cosmopolitan cities. Even in those cities, acceptance is only acknowledged amongst a minority group.

Goth Subculture
How do members join or gain entry into the subculture?
Most goths would agree that there is no basic way of getting entry into the subculture but its just a lifestyle. Some may even go as far as saying that its something you are born with but cant be made into. You either got it or you don't.
For example: When looking up information about goths and the process of becoming a goth I came across this comment someone made that goes: " You can't become goth. Goth is part of who you are. So becoming a goth is like "how do I become someone who likes the color black" You have to start liking those things from the start, or it has to come from within you, not from the outside. You can't buy gothiness or start listening to whatever goth bands someone suggests. You have to have those preferences all along because that is what makes you goth- when you are being yourself".
Then following that other comments where made like: "If you were a true goth you would know how to be one you can't pretend to be one" , "goth's are born not created. Poseurs are lameeeee", and last but not least, "You have to feel it within yourself, not because you think it's a cool look. Otherwise, Hot Topic has some awesome baggy pants with chains, as well as a sizing chart if you want to buy online. Check out Interpunk as well. You're going to want to buy black stuff with silver spikes or anything like that.I'm a lighter form of gothic, the "wemo" form, so you're generally gonna want to focus on the darker, more negative things and see the beauty of them. When people start asking you why you changed, just shake your head. They don't need a straight answer, and they're just looking for 'Oh, I sold my soul to Satan' or something. I hate those people."
While some people believe that being a goth is a way of being others just feel like as long as you feel it and act like it then you an be goth. Either way, becoming a goth has no official way, there is no how to guide on being goth, its just a lifestyle.
Are any forms of the subculture’s activities and beliefs considered taboo/illegal/or another
Way of violating social norms?
Subculture
What did you learn about this subculture that you had not previously known?
I learned that religion and religious beliefs play a large part in the formation or identification of the Gothic identity. Religious belief throughout the Goth subculture tends to show a leaning towards ancient ritual and pagan religions. Most of these religions do stem from ancient pre-Christian Europe, particularly from Britain and the Celts. Gothic religious beliefs align themselves with the traditions of Witchcraft, Shamanism, Druidism, worship of the Mother Goddess, the Cult of the Dead and eco-magic. Spiritual religions of the middle and far East also tend to influence the spiritual beliefs with Ancient Egyptian rituals playing a major influencing role. The identification with various religions is usually visible and can be seen in the type of jewelery worn - pentagrams, crosses and Ankhs being amongst the more popular.
How (if any at all) has this project transformed your perception of the subculture?
This project has changed my perception of the goth subculture greatly because before i used to think they were just weird people that dint know how to dress and now i realize they are just expressing their believes and are being who they are. What most would categorize as normal they think is abnormal and what we would call weird they call their lifestyle. I relied that they are not less and should not be considered deviant because they are not what society labeled as normal behavior. I have changed my view on them as less or different and now consider them another victim of society's many labels and prejudices.
Interview
Origin
Visigoths and Ostrogoths: nomadic tribe of Germanic people

Sack of Rome (410)

Emergence of Medieval Europe

Do members of the subculture break their own rules? If so, how?
There are at times when rules within the Gothic subculture are broken by their own members. Sometimes they are broken by accident or even on purpose in order to accomplish a certain goal. It would at time be considered an informal norm as we would put it.
In reality, Goths make certain choices where rules are bound to be broken.
Art Influence
Gothic literature: horror and romance (18th-19th century)
"Frankenstein", "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", Edgar Allan Poe, "Interview with the Vampire""
Music Influence
Gothic rock: musical sub genre of post punk and alternative rock
Dark music with introspective, romantic lyrics

Britain in 1980's: Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees
Goth in media: (20th century)
"The Addams Family" (1960's), Tim Burton (Batman, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands)
Gothic Fashion
Marked by its conspicuously dark, mysterious, exotic, and complex features.
Styles are often inspired from Punks, Victorians, and Elizabeths
Typical Goth fashion includes the following:
Pale Complexion
Colored Black Hair(Although not always)
Dark Clothing
Dark Lips

Across the Decades
Gothic Styles
Lolita goth
Elegant goth
Goth Slang
Candy Goth: a Goth who likes to wear fairy wings and attire associated
Cyber Goth: Figure Hugging attire, colorful hair mixed in, raver goggles
Trad Goth: Traditional goth music and attire from early 70s & 80s
Porcupine: Goths who wear a lot of spikes
Mundane: “Normal” people
Raver Goth: A raver who dresses accordingly to Gothic culture
Weekender: people who only go Goth during the weekends
Gunk: Goth Punk
Doomcookie: one with no fashion sense, refuses to smile fearing the loss of their Goth image
Pagan Goth : not to be confused with Satanism or Witchcraft
Ren Faire Goth: Associated with Renaissance Fairs

Social Activities
Goth Clubs
Graveyard Picnics
Gothic Weekends
World Goth Day: May 22
Worldwide celebration of Goth music and culture

Symbols
Pentacle
Eye of Ra
Cross
Ankh

Dressing Goth
Girls:
A fishnet shirt and vinyl or leather pants with some sort of boots and other various accessories.



Guys:
A white shirt (sometimes with the collar folded up to cover the neck), black pants, a black vest, boots or dress shoes.

Some of the guys will wear makeup, skirts, corsets or heels.
like to look or dress feminine
to challenge social gender barriers
to show that they have an open mind
fashion statement
https://www.wevideo.com/view/184944121
Ideals
Norms:
Dark Makeup w/ Pale Complexions
Usually Dark Clothing


Folkways:
"Dark Beauty"; finding the beauty in what is "dead", and/or denied in society, the desire to understand death etc.
The usage of Christian Imagery, spirituality, and other forms of symbology
Keep in mind the goth culture is not some form of cult or religion.

Key Players of Gothic Subculture
Full transcript