THE EMO SUBCULTURE
Aspects of Contemporary Society
Emo, short for Emotional; this group is generally constructed as a group of teenagers who desperately try to escape the social class they have been put into. Mostly an underground scene the term “Emo” began as a music genre in the mid 1980’s with a group of bands set on redefining punk rock music. They based their music on emotions and feelings and this quickly spread throughout America. This lasted until the early 2000’s when the bases turned to (some say) over-the-top emphasis on self expression and negative connotations were implied; emotion and sadness thus stereotyping the word we so often hear today. With this derogatory, implications followed. Emos began to be marginalized due to their style and beliefs. As certain fashion trends and attitudes began to be associated with “Emo”, heavy criticism fell upon those who followed the “music genre” and now confusion exists between those who follow the Emo music genre or the Emo sub-culture. The first text piece titled ‘The Emo Subculture’ broadcasted on Today Tonight warns parents about the phenomenon which is causing depression, self-mutilation and suicide. It asks parents to look out for common signs of “Emo” and seek help, pressing upon the ideology that this group is a sinister addition to teenage subculture, and should be shunned upon. Psychologist Evylin Field states "Emo is really about being emotionally depressed and talking about your depression and showing your depression, even using the black eyeliner. It's really about life is not worth living." She warns that parents keep a close eye on their teenagers. Watching Internet use, looking at sites they visit as many sites have been established to support and show teenagers how to become Emo. This positions the viewers (generally adults/parents) to see view negatively upon their children’s lifestyle and provoking intrusion into their personal life’s. Chris Simond quotes “"They need to look at the clothes they're wearing; they need to look at who they associate with. Are they associating with kids who enjoy life and doing the nice things young people do? Or are they associating with young people who say 'life is bad and I can’t handle it'?” She also suggests looking at the way their children dress and act for possible signs. Her ideology towards this is negative. The way the article addresses the issue is more focused towards parents. Suggesting they “watch” their teenager and “look out” for signs of Emo requesting them to seek counseling or help if their children show these signs. The views against this sub-culture position the reader to see this group negatively. This report on Today Tonight heavily positions readers against Emo’s, “Are they happy or sour, depressed, miserable, feeling hopeless, life is not worth living?” This then shows up in our teenage society. The shuns put out by media affect the way we look at Emo’s and have gradually changed peoples opinions from lovers of a music genre to depressed self-mutilating teenagers. This is a common misconception between the two types. But this media article heavily marginalizes teenagers leaving gaps and silences. Lindsay Tanner a Labor finance spokesman and federal member for Melbourne also writes about the ongoing popularity of this subculture. Evidently Lindsay shares the same opinions and beliefs as the Today Tonight article. The text begins with “YOU might not have heard of Emos. Neither had I until two teenage girls from Melbourne’s outer east committed suicide”, which immediately positions the reader against Emos and creates a negative ideology into the readers mind. Further into the text Lindsay Tanner compares the generation gap between her and teens of today stating that her generation of “peace, love and universal happiness” is much different to the generation of today where she connects Emos and the darker side: Suicide. The article focuses mainly on the links between Emo’s and bullying. Bullied...
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