Early adolescent boys' perceptions of the Emo youth subculture
The Emo youth is an emotionally expressive subculture associated with specific clothing, behaviour and music. Adolescent boys with skinny jeans, black eyeliner, black dyed hair and long fringes are some of the characteristics that is associated with Emo youth subculture. The social identity theory and developmental psychology theory underpin this research study, while a qualitative case study was utilized to obtain data. Social identity theory focus on inter-group relationship between the in-group and the out-group. For the study 15 individual participants aged 14 were purposively selected. All the participants were English speaking boys. Sociological research investigating boys' masculinities has already recognised the importance and effect of peer group cultures on their identity construction. The aim of the study was to explore and describe early adolescent boys‘ perceptions of the Emo youth subculture and the research question that guided it was: What are early adolescent boys‘ perceptions regarding the Emo youth subculture? Data were collected by means of drawings and subsequent focus group discussions. The findings indicated that the Emo youth subculture has norms and values that give rise to concern. The vulnerability caused by the lack of emotional support from family and peers is evident in findings. The present study confirmed that the Emo youth subculture provides a sense of belonging and security to sensitive and emotional adolescents, but the norms and customs that are associated with the subculture can possibly inhibit an adolescent to integrate and move on to the next developmental life phase. Depression, self-harming and suicidal tendencies that are associated with the subculture need to be addressed timeously. The concerns need to be explored further so that programmes and intervention strategies can be developed and instituted so that these adolescents can receive the support they so desperately need to be able to integrate and move on to the next phase of their life. The present study contributes to the literature regarding the Emo youth subculture in that it sheds some light on the potential needs of adolescents belonging to this subculture.
- Humanities