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21 March, 2006

A gothic future

Though all the usual 'eyeliner & Sisters Of Mercy' clichés are mentioned (and the accompanying sidebar is just pathetic), the underlying point of a Guardian article about 'goths taking over the establishment' is compelling.  In a PhD study, Dunja Brill of Sussex University found that Goths are disproportionately successful in future careers.

"Most youth subcultures encourage people to drop out of school and do illegal things," she says. "Most goths are well educated, however. They hardly ever drop out and are often the best pupils. The subculture encourages interest in classical education, especially the arts. I'd say goths are more likely to make careers in web design, computer programming... even journalism."
I won't simply paraphrase the whole article, but it suggests that "goths tend to be the weirdo intellectual kids who have started to view the world differently", which has implications for future life.

Unfortunately, the article is slightly diminished by Dave Simpson's perception of 'goth' as the 1980s variety, dominated by the look and music of that time, not now (I suppose he can only comment on his own experience, but it's a significant omission), and his suggestion that goth is solely a teenage subculture. To his credit, though, he makes a point of distancing contemporary goths from Marilyn Manson (Brill mentions an academic paper which 'proves' that) and Satanism.

Ciar Byrne, in The Independent takes a less nostalgic approach, quoting Brill's points that Goth is a contemporary lifestyle, that it's not merely for teenagers and that it's more individualistic than communal, all of which match my own perception.

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