It’s frustrating to read an authoritative position on subculture which shows an impressive lack of knowledge on it.
Louise Tickle’s article ‘Growing-up for goths’ in today’s Guardian, is an interesting read to a degree, indeed it can appear that more ‘goths’ visibly stick with ‘being a goth’ into middle age, however, the theme of the article, essentially that active participation in subculture is the domain of those under 30, is entirely incorrect. The broad stroke statement of “many people who belong to youth subcultures such as punk and rave tend to drift away in their 20s” is just not true, particularly not of punk. There are as many older “punks” as there are young “former goths” as any participant in those subcultures can attest.
Ditching the mohawk does not mean shedding of commitment to subculture and equally donning a black trench coat does not make the wearer a goth. Subculture is not a youth phenomenon, that’s a huge misunderstanding of its definition.
The study which is the crux of this story appears to be a sociological assumption based on conversation with a few ‘goths’. Studying those who self identify as devotees of ‘goth subculture’ certainly gives insight into that subculture, but it teaches little on the other subcultures mentioned.
Comments in the article such as “goths may have better career options than an outsider might expect” tread a the line of extreme ignorance and assume it of the rest of us.
“It’s a relatively middle-class subculture, so despite … all the going out and being into the music, goths have always had a fairly positive view of people who are also achieving academically” where are the missing words from this quote? In its current state it’s confusing. Unless there has been a study proving that those of the middle classes generally go out less and are not as ‘into music’ as those of the working, upper and ruling classes and that all other subcultures shun academic prowess.
Link to the article: