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Initially a musical genre that emerged in the late 70s post punk era, Goth evolved into a full-blown sub culture a few years later with the evolution of Gothic fashion and imagery. A movement with a seemingly infinite ability to re-invent itself Goth has survived over 2 decades and has continued to evolve and grow in this time. However this propensity to re-invent itself has lead to a form of “identity crisis of Goth” in which even its most fervent adherents can no longer agree on a definitive answer to the question “What is Goth”.

In recent years the music industry has applied the term “Goth” rather broadly to various musical styles, which they seem unable to categorise, resulting in some confusion between various genres and the fans thereof. Unlike many of the subcultures than went before Goth does not seek to rebel against society, highlight its flaws (as was the case with the punks of the 70s) or define itself in terms of opposition to other sub cultural groupings (as was the case with the mods and the rockers of the 60s). As press interest in the genre continues, other sections of society have begun to define normality as “that which is opposed to Goth,” a common mainstream reaction faced by all subcultures at one time or another.
Goth music originated in the late 70s and has evolved and reinvented itself many times since
by Bryan October 23, 2003
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16
Goth was originally a term used to describe people with a taste for certain bands eg: Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, etc. in the '80s when punk started to fade out, and with wardrobes predominantly black.
In the 90s and early 2000s the goth subculture seemed to change to include bands such as Nirvana, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, etc.

Many goths have a cynical outlook on society and have an evolved sense of humor which has gone beyond the "Ya ma" as an insult and will laugh at others, and at themselves in a healthy way. Goths don't usually care what other people think of them, and don't care if they don't fit in. Goths don't care, either what sexuality, religion, etc. other goths are, and we don't take the piss out of gays because we aren't homophobes.

If you shout insults after a bunch of goths, alot of the time, they might not be offended, but take pride that people are realising that they're individuals.
S/He listens to "Gothic rock"
S/He lives a goth lifestyle.
by Ben December 04, 2004
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17
To a Scally: Someone wearing black clothes, and make up.

To a 12 year old Linkin Park fan: Someone who likes Korn.

To a goth: I'm not a goth!

Really: A tribe of eastern european barbarians that sacked rome in the 4th century. The name of an artistic style, associated with clothing, and architecture
by EskimoDan August 18, 2003
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18
A word that needs to stop being defined.
by not a goth January 03, 2005
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19
A great bunch of people once you get to know. They aren't pathetic and stereotypical like the ones criticising them.
- Ohh look there is a Goth
- Yeah, she's fucking ugly!
- Damn Straight
- Hey, let's go cornhole each other!
- Great idea
by Totenkopf September 22, 2005
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20
Ah, the widely controversial "goth" label. I say label because for most, that's all it is. A simple category for putting people into little, clearly-marked boxes. It can mean as little as a stereoptype or as much as a way of life. What any person's view is on the Gothic culture depends mostly on their experience with it, their past experiences in general, their susceptibility to outside influences, and their attitude on the strange and the unknown.

The term "Gothic" has had many definitions over the course of history. I believe other definitions have about covered the origins, so I'll instead focus on the most contemporary incarnation.

Common "Gothic" Myths:
1) All goths are suicidal: If you yourself believe this, give yourself a good slap upside the head with a dictionary. The majority of Goths are fun-loving, happy people who view suicidal people as somewhat disgusting and do not include them in their definition of what is goth.
2) All goths wear black: Again, slap yourself upside the head with a dictionary if you firmly believe this. Any true goth will admit that they like wearing color on occasion. In particular, cybergoths enjoy very much the brightest colors known to the human mind.
3) All goths listen to marilyn manson: Sigh. Look, kids. Whether manson is goth or not I don't care to discuss, as there are valid arguments on both sides, but the fact is, a good chunk of true goths don't even LIKE manson. Some goths don't even like rock/metal/hardcore music. GASP!

Moreover, Gothic cultue is simply a very deep connection to the darker side of life, an acknowledgement that everything is not "peachy," and that things like sadness and grief are very real and must be dealt with in order to maintain a healthy mind and body.
"I'm so goth, i cut myself all the time."

"I'm not goth."
by raven of roses December 05, 2005
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21
I don't know anymore. There are so many definitions of goth nowdays, especially music. For example:

There's classic goth music, like the Sisters Of Mercy (including the greatest 80's pop song ever made, This Corrosion) and Bauhaus. There's Victorian-style goth, but that's rare. The only good example I can think of is Rasputina. (Their song "Transylvanian Concubine" was on a Buffy soundtrack.) There's electrogoth, like Switchblade Symphony and Faith and The Muse.

After this, things get fuzzy.

Symphonic metal, like Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil, is sometimes considered gothic metal. Industrial music, like Nine Inch Nails, occcasionally mixes with gothic music. Electrogoth and electropop sometimes overlap, an example being Ladytron and Depeche Mode. There's pagan rock, like Inkubus Sukkubus, but the only reason that has a gothic following is because many goths follow a Pagan or Wiccan path.

In conclusion, no one knows what goth is anymore, because it's forked so many times. However, it is agreeded upon that Marilyn Manson is not goth.
"What is gothic music?"

"I...just don't know anymore."
by My name! MINE! September 21, 2007
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