As an antidote to the Mail's recent carping about we gloom-shrouded folks, reader Ash reminded me of a recent article in fellow UK newspaper The Guardian, entitled Growing Up For Goths; "Punks grow out of it [note: not necessarily true] and ravers stop raving. Why do Goths just carry on? Sociologists can explain."
I was pleased to discover that the sociologist behind this study was none other than Dr Paul Hodkinson, whose book Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture sits proudly on my own bookshelf. Dr Hodkinson is perhaps the perfect example of Gothdom for younglings to show to their parents; published writer, long-time Goth, and deputy head of Surrey University's sociology department, proof that being Goth does not prevent one from getting ahead in life.
For his book, Dr Hodkinson took a step back from his involvement with Goth and attempted to approach his review of the subculture as a detached observer, interviewing a cross-section of the Gothic community in the late 90s for his research. The Guardian reports that Dr Hodkinson has returned to his research by re-interviewing his original subjects, who at the time were in their teens and early 20s.
Interestingly, Hodkinson's research noted that Goths were more willing than you might expect to tone down their appearance if it would aid their career (or, presumably, education), a tidbit of information that might ease the minds of many parents concerned for their Gothy child's future. However, most of those interviewed were still recognised as Goths at work, indicating that they could achieve success without giving up their dark aesthetic altogether.
Families are also touched on in the article; some of the interviewees now have children, and it was mentioned that organisers of Goth festivals are now thinking of providing facilities and policies regarding the offspring of Goth attendees. The Guardian comments, "For what Hodkinson calls "a fairly hedonistic youth subculture" to consider offering kids' clubs and on-site childminding means that demand from more mature goths is definitely on the increase."
You can check out the full article here; what a nice, positive read!
Lastly, here's an outfit I wore to the garden centre last weekend:
Jeans: Criminal Damage, £35
Belt: random alt store, £25
T-shirt: AppleSnow, £17 ('allergic to bullshit')
Gloves: music shop in Torquay, £2
Jacket: Poizen Industries via Attitude Clothing, £35 (plus hand-painted patches)
Boots (not seen): New Rock, Camden, £135