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the future of the alternative: end of the 2020 TikTok goth?



Throughout time there has always been those who don’t fit in and aim to stand out, especially in youth. The internet has really streamlined how we can all connect with our particular interests and inherent subcultures over the years. However, do we still represent a form of resistance to dominant groups, represented by style as a chaotic mishmash of visual, aesthetic, musical and social meanings? (Guerra, 2020) 

Internet goths, fandoms, niche reddit users, and gamers all represent the numerous 2021 subcultures that are now dominating the internet. In the 80s there were goths, metallers, punks and soul boys – with their stomping grounds of school and public scenes (Petridis, 2014). They all had something to stand for and rebel against, which looked a lot different than our current cyberculture. It is important to grasp where this is all heading, not only for those involved in these groups, but the greater society.



Guerra P., 2020, Under-Connected: Youth Subcultures, Resistance and Sociability in the Internet Age. In: Gildart K. et al. (eds) Hebdige and Subculture in the Twenty-First Century. Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Lombardo, T., 2008. Contemporary futurist thought. Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHOUSE, p.56.

Petridis, A., 2014. Youth subcultures: what are they now. The Guardian, 20.


11 thoughts on “the future of the alternative: end of the 2020 TikTok goth?

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  1. Hi Page, you produced a great pitch video.
    Firstly, I would like to mention you did an excellent job getting all aspects of information, methodologies, and ideas into a short 2-minute video. With a simple but engaging visual slide to see dot points of what you were addressing.
    This concept you are developing with your digital artifact fits in well with the topic of future cultures, who, and where they will go. You have developed some great concept questions to base your project around which will defiantly help guide you to look at the focal topic and view of the future.
    Secondly, I can see that you have done some good research into theories and methodologies that are in line with your chosen topic. This demonstrates a good understanding of the class.
    My only concern with your project is that you have mention looking at subcultures, will you refine what exact genres you will be focusing on? Perhaps Punk, Goth, or even Futurism? I only bring this up as I do not want you to become overwhelmed with addressing this category as there are many subcultures and the future of them. As seen in the link provided, there is an extensive list of subcultures
    Reddit would be a great source of information and perspectives to aid you with your research.
    Good luck, I look forward to seeing your progress!


  2. Hi Paige!

    I think your concept is very unique, which makes it interesting! Although your area of interest isn’t something that I fully understand, I believe your DA will inform me, personally, more about the topic. Your methodology seems to be very detailed and will involve extensive research. I believe this will shed more light on your subject and allow more people to better understand the possible futures of your concept. Your production timeline provides a clear snapshot of what your DA process is going to look like. The only point that wasn’t clear to me was how this would be useful to the public. However, all in all I am intrigued to see how your DA will turn out!

    – Madeline Williams (:


  3. Hey Paige!

    Firstly, I think your digital artefact focus being the future of alternative subcultures is really interesting and I’m keen to see what you uncover during your research process. Your pitch video is also really clean and well put together so well done in the visual aspect!

    In following the initial digital artefact pitch template, I did make some notes and observations regarding your pitch concept and methodology, which I’ve broken up for you below to reflect on.

    Initial concept: As I mentioned, I think the concept of your digital artefact is really interesting, though “alternative subcultures” is an extremely broad topic and I’d like to see you narrow your focus by identifying specific elements of the broad subculture, or specific subcultures, that you will explore. Each subculture obviously has different roots and aesthetics, which you mention you are interested in exploring over time, so I think it’d be beneficial to carefully select one or two, rather than them all. Your pitch blog post title does specify “TikTok goth” though you don’t touch on this in your video or blog content – is this the specific area you intend on focusing on? This 2021 article by Rebels Market identifies the most notable alternative subcultures over the last decade, from cybergoth to steampunk to vaporwave, and may be of help in narrowing your focus – .

    Methodology and background research: I think a video essay is a great way to discuss the subculture and your findings, particularly as it would allow you to incorporate the visual elements a podcast or audio essay would otherwise lack. I also like how you plan to collect feedback through relevant groups to the members of these subcultures on Reddit, though I’d like to have heard your thoughts on which particular groups you will utilise and why they were selected over others. I’m sure there’s no shortage of related Reddit threads to your overarching topic of alternative culture, but this extra attention to background research would have helped push your digital artefact by narrowing your focus and highlighting the specific areas of the platform most important to your process.

    Two Reddit threads that I think may be useful, depending on your specific alternative subcultures, are r/cyberpunk to reach a large audience, or r/cyberpunkaesthetic for a smaller community. While a post on the former will likely reach much more people, the latter may attract more discussion between members as there are fewer people fighting for attention through the number of posts. I also think TikTok may be an interesting platform to source feedback from (such as through asking questions in the comments of videos by members of the culture) as your title mentions a specific subculture of alternative culture, being “TikTok goth”. If this is your specific focus, I think it would nicely complement the discussions on Reddit. I also feel the audience for each platform is very different, so you would likely get very different opinions and ideas from each group of people.

    Social utility: In your written section, you mention it is important to grasp where the culture is heading for both people within the culture as well as greater society, but why is this? I feel like the social utility of your project wasn’t very prominent in your discussion, so I’d love to hear more on how your particular digital artefact will benefit the subculture and wider society, or offer value to them. It’s definitely an interesting project topic, but the user value wasn’t made as clear in my opinion.

    Subject content: You’ve done a great job at tying your digital artefact in with the subject content, particularly around the lecture and tutorial discussions on the science fiction genre and the aesthetics of it. It’s really clear that you have a solid understanding of the subject material and have offered examples in your pitch. Great job! It actually made me realise how little I focused on the relevance of my own pitch to the subject content, though I am focusing on a very different topic myself.

    Addresses the digital artefact challenge: Finally, you’ve clearly addressed the digital artefact challenge of relating to the future through your methodology and background research. My only suggestion for this section would have been to specify the timeframe you’re considering in particular beyond “short, medium and long-term”. How many years into the future are you considering, and how will you distinguish between the three time periods in your essay? I recently stumbled across this podcast on the future of goth culture, which discusses the origin and current place of the culture in society, in particular, in identifying the various subgenres it has inspired. Towards the end of the episode, the host actually mentions Blade Runner and a few other topics/themes that are very relevant to BCM 325, in addition to explaining how “the future is already here” which ties in extremely well with Chris’ lectures. I’d definitely recommend giving it a listen for more inspiration if you choose to focus on the gothic subgenre.

    I know this is a lot of feedback but overall you’ve done a great job! I was really impressed with your pitch, but wanted to draw attention to these few areas I feel you could expand on or consider further. I’m really interested in seeing where you take it so good luck!


  4. Hey Paige!

    It seems as though you have an interest in the idea of subcultures and I love how you have linked this to your digital artefact. I do really love the subcultures idea for your DA however I am a little confused with what group you are specifically looking into? or is it a broad topic that you want to be covering many subculture groups? If so that can possibly be too big of a task to do in one video and I think that it would be best that you find one niche and focus on that element in your video essay. Narrowing down the project to one niche would also assist you in your research so you don’t become so overwhelmed with everything.

    You make a good point in your pitch that most of this semester will be focused on researching the topic. It is important that you do lots of research in both academic and online sources so you have a broad understanding before compiling your video together.

    I’ve found an article that addresses subcultures within millennials this may assist you in finding a subculture on which you want to specifically focus on.

    Overall, I really did enjoy your pitch video as you spoke clearly and gave a good overview of how you want to progress with your DA through the semester. You also have a clear feedback loop through Reddit which is the best platform for subcultures to express their opinions. Just have a think about where you want to focus your idea so you don’t become swamped with work. I can’t wait to learn more about subcultures and see where your project takes you, good luck!


  5. Hi Paige!

    Your idea to focus on the future of alternative subcultures is definitely an interesting and engaging topic – perhaps now more than ever because of how quickly subcultures are evolving.

    I think my main critique with your concept is to just be careful that you have not made your focus too broad. Whilst it is a very interesting topic with so many different aspects you could incorporate you should be mindful not to give yourself too much to work with within the timeframe. It might be helpful to focus in on a few specific subcultures that you think will face the biggest challenges or transformations in the future.

    You mentioned that you are going to spend much of the semester researching your DA and I think this is a really smart decision – especially for a topic as diverse as alternative subcultures. I found this really great journal article about subcultures that might be helpful to your research. It is quite wordy in places but it could be a great way to find sources for your own further research.

    Williams, J.P. 2019, ‘Subculture’s Not Dead! Checking the Pulse of Subculture Studies through a Review of ‘Subcultures, popular Music and Political Change’ and ‘Youth Cultures and Subcultures: Australian Perspectives’, Young, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 89-105.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the progression of your DA – good luck with your research!


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