Subcultural growing up: a re-embrace of dominant gender codes?

Paul Hodkinson (Surrey)
31 October 2016

With a particular focus upon gender, this presentation explores the shifting orientation of goths as they collectively became older whilst retaining a strong identification with their subculture. While in some respects the retention of subcultural attachments rendered them distinctive, their collective ageing was often accompanied by a gradual re-orientation towards roles and understandings consistent with hegemonic adulthood. This re-embrace of dominant roles was particularly pronounced with respect to gender and sexuality, I suggest, with transgressive forms of dress, practice and identity often beginning to give way to more familiar and traditional appearances and orientations, particularly with respect to marriage and children. That this apparent drift back to the mainstream took place collectively as part of an ongoing subcultural engagement rather than as a result of individuals relinquishing their attachment is of particular interest, I suggest, amounting to something of a realignment of the subculture itself, or at least of its older cohorts.