We’re Getting Closer

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The Melbourne Gothic & Victorian Picnic, October 2017

It has been some time since I posted – so I thought I’d write a quick update.


Over the last few months I have been buried deep in the analysis of data for this research and am beginning to properly draft my PhD.   Survey responses came from all over the world, as illustrated below, and working through responses has been a huge – and hugely rewarding – task.   For the first part of 2018 my primary occupation will be writing up my thesis, and I hope to be closer to completion by this time next year.  During that time I will be able to post more regular updates.

It’s a long process… but we’re getting closer!

Respondent Location Data by Region

Just a Phase?  Respondent Data by region


For this research I have travelled to many countries, particularly in Europe, to attend Goth and alternative culture events, gigs, festivals, concerts and all sorts of gatherings.

The sense of community has been amazing.

Like other socially active groups we have developed common rituals, aesthetics and behaviours (clothing, dance styles, etc), which inform our personal interactions and provide comfortable social boundaries.  Of course, like all communities, not everyone in the Goth scene gets along; there can be rivalries and occasional bitching.  In my experience however, this has been minimal and has not disrupted the overwhelmingly positive mood of these events.

One of the principal characteristics of the culture observed on these trips has been participants  respectful collective response to one another when in large crowds; a consistent pattern of courteous social interaction and generally polite deportment.  …And an ever-present dark sense of humour.  The Goth community has developed natural, unspoken, yet internationally understood, etiquette responses which allow such events to progress amicably, irrespective of language barriers or other impediments to communication.

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The Melbourne Gothic & Victorian Picnic, October 2017

Most recently the Melbourne Gothic and Victorian Picnic was a fabulous display of the Australian Goth community:  brilliantly organised and well patronised by a glorious array of attendees.

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The Melbourne Gothic & Victorian Picnic, October 2017

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M’era Luna Festival, Germany, August 2017

At M’era Luna earlier this year it was overwhelming to be in the midst of such an enormous crowd of like-minded folk [25,000+], almost all of whom were considerate and welcoming.  Family groups stood alongside young Goths as well as veterans of the culture, in all manner of couture, each enjoying the atmosphere and entertainment.

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M’era Luna Festival, Germany, August 2017

There were many examples of generosity, humour and good will despite some fairly dismal weather, more mud than is decent, and often extremely long queues…

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M’era Luna Festival [Aftermath: Bondage Barbie], Germany, August 2017

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Infest Festival [Tardis Time], Bradford, England August 2017

Infest was similarly outstanding, as it always has been, with a great crowd in attendance every night and bands responding brilliantly to the energy in the room.

At each of these events I have collected a mass of visual and interview data as well as reflecting on my own experience in the Goth community and the importance these social events play in maintaining connections to and within the Goth culture.

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Infest Festival, Bradford, England August 2017

There have been a number of other events –  Whitby of course and lots of gigs etc – which I will document more fully later.

Thank you to everyone who made time to chat, I loved almost* every minute of it!

Once my research is completed I hope to publish images collected as part of this study in my thesis and will also post updates on planned future photographic projects next year.

Emma

*Almost…  I am especially thankful to the lovely people who provided assistance and support at the Sisters gig at Camden Roundhouse when I was knocked unconscious by a crowd-surfer – thank you!  …all part of the fun!     

 

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Melbourne Gothic and Victorian Picnic, October 2017

 

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Happy World Goth Day 2016

001 Happy World Goth Day 2016

Today we celebrate World Goth Day!

To everyone who has found belonging, happiness, comfort and excitement in this fascinating culture, I wish you a fabulous day.   It is a day to celebrate  – so play your music loud, crimp your hair or perhaps eat glittery bat cookies!

May 22nd 2016 also marks the anniversary of Goth – Just a Phase? data collection and the formal close of the survey period.

Thank you again to all the wonderful people who completed my survey and to those I have interviewed for this project over the last year.

The research to date has provided insights into the different experiences of belonging in the Goth Culture around the world –  from hundreds of different perspectives.   I have been fortunate enough to talk to people from many different backgrounds, time-zones and life experience as well as Goths (and ex-Goths) of different ages.   I now look forward to reading through the data with a finer comb and teasing (and crimping) out all the details.

Over the next week or so I will be finalising interviews and closing off the surveys.

Goth – Just a Phase? One year on –  a snapshot…

I will continue to publish here and and on social media, and look forward to sharing my findings as the project continues.

If you are still keen to be involved please contact me directly – all contributions are valuable and add to our story.

WGD Bats 30Happy World Goth Day!

Emma

Whitby – One Month On

WHITBY by night3

First and foremost : A huge thank you to all the wonderful people I met, interviewed, chatted with, photographed and spent time with in Whitby, London, Manchester, Vancouver and all the other stops along the way.   It was brilliant to meet so many folks who were willing to share their stories and be part of this project – thank you for donating your time to my research.

I owe particular thanks to the people I spoke with in Whitby at both the Bram Stoker International Film Festival and the Whitby Goth Weekend.  Thank you for giving up valuable festival time to talk with me about your experiences in the Goth Subculture.

I truly appreciate the efforts you made to fit this project into your schedule. Your honesty, good humour, acceptance, generosity and integrity is a rare and wonderful thing and your contributions are greatly valued.

Bram Stoker International Film Festival 2015

From a research perspective, the weeks in Whitby are critical to the data-gathering phase of my study and time spent there has generated material which I will draw on throughout my project including lots of fantastic conversations and visuals.

From a personal perspective, the trip was hugely inspiring and has renewed my commitment to pursue this research and to write about the Goth subculture.

At a time when so much energy seems to be devoted to writing about societal division it is of some comfort to be reflecting on experiences of belonging.


 

Bram Stoker International Film Festival 2015

 Where to from here?

For the immediate future, I am working through the data I amassed overseas and writing up my notes.

Then, it is time for the Australian contingent!

I will be scheduling interviews in Australia over the next few months, and will reopen the Australian survey to correspond with these interviews.

 

Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed to and supported this research.

Cheers,

Emma

          Whitby Goth Weekend 2015 (October)

 

 

Surveys Closing!

The current surveys will be closed for analysis on

August 15th 2015


 https://isgothjustaphase.com/2015/05/20/goth-subculture-survey/

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the surveys.
Additional shorter surveys will follow for those who wish to stay involved.

I am following up the surveys with interviews and group discussions, first in the UK.

I will be scheduling interviews in London around October 18th 2015

& then to coincide with the Bram Stoker Film Festival and Whitby Goth Weekend in Whitby October 22nd – November 1st 2015.

 

Thank you for taking the survey - if you are coming to Whitby and you are interested in taking part in the project, let me know, it would be great to talk in person.

Thank you for taking the survey – if you are coming to Whitby and you are interested in taking part in the project, let me know, it would be great to talk in person.

Contact me via Facebook – Goth Phase or at isgothjustaphase.com

I look forward to sharing findings from the surveys in the coming months.

Thanks again for supporting this project, and I might just see you at Whitby!!!
Emma.

 


Just a Phase? Goth Subculture as an identity constant beyond youth.