Individuals in society are inherently subject to collaborative norms and values that have been instilled in humanity, with the consideration that this varies across cultures. The paradigm between collective action and individual desire results in the formation of what is deemed socially acceptable, such as gender roles, sexual orientation, gender performance etc. “It is social norms that provide the constraints by which the interaction between the basic dyad of self and other is governed…social norms also provide the source of identity between the individual action, the complete system and the overall social order itself resides in the identity between the action and the system” (Jinks, 2005; 78-79) Deviations form societal norms result in the formation of subcultures, cultural groups that have different beliefs, interests and values than that of the great society. This essay will focus on Goth culture and the extent to which it challenges the hegemonic norms of masculinity. “Hegemonic Masculinity refers to a culturally dominant set of ideas and practices about what it means to be a man and how men should behave” (Mansfield, 2007: 1). It is, in simpler terms the general perception of what it is to be masculine that dominants society and the way in which most people portray their masculinity. It is hoped that through the course of this essay we will be able to present a clearer picture into whether or not Goth culture truly challenges hegemonic norms of masculinity or whether it just flatters to deceive.
When examining subcultures such as the Goth culture it is evident that many serve not only as a means of identifying one’s self by membership in that subculture, but to defy the culturally dominant set of ideas, norms and iden...
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...gemonic masculinity, upon closer examination contradictions in Goth culture serve to undermine the extent to which it challenges this as well as heteronormativity.
• Brill, D. (2008) Goth Culture: Gender, Sexuality and Style. Berg Publishers: Oxford.
• Hodkinson, P. (2007) Youth Cultures: Scene, Subcultures and Tribes. Routledge: England
• Issitt, L M. (2011) Goths: A Guide to an American Subculture. ABC-CLIO: England
• Jinks, C (2005) Subculture: The Trangmintation of the Social. SAGE: England
• Kane, E. (2012) The Gender Trap: Parents and the Pitfalls of Raising Boys and Girls. NYU Press: USA
• Mansfield. (2007) Masculine Norms, Trauma Symptoms, Emotional Skilfulness and Aggression: Understanding the Connections. ProQuest: England
• Wilkins, A. (2008) Wannabes Goths and Christians: The Boundaries of Sex Style and Status. University of Chicago: USA
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