Paul Hodkinson

Paul Hodkinson is a sociologist whose work is focused upon youth cultures, online communications and on the relationships between media and cultural identities. He is author of Media, Culture and Society and Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture. He is also co-editor of Youth Cultures: Scenes, Subcultures and Tribes and Ageing and Youth Cultures. His recent research has focused upon young people's use of online communications, processes of ageing among 'youth' subcultural participants and the victimisation of members of alternative subcultures. He is Reader in Sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Surrey.



Unfortunately I no longer have the time to keep this site up-to-date. Please visit my pages on the University of Surrey site at



Recent News


April 2014 - Forthcoming publications based on victimisation research


The first publications associated with a qualitative study of experiences of targeted harassment and abuse among goths - conducted alongside Jon Garland - are on the way. First to come out will be a journal article in the British Journal of Criminology, hopefully by May/June 2014, discussing links between the findings of our research and aspects of the experiences of more established hate crime victim groups. Separately Jon and I have a more discursive and non-research-based piece coming out in a forthcoming volume on hate crime edited by Nathan Hall... More news on these soon.


April 2013 - Victimisation research featured on Sky News and BBC Online


Current research with Jon Garland on the targetted victimisation and harassment of goths was featured in UK media this week in relation to Greater Manchester Police's decision to record attacks on members of 'alternative subcultures' in the same way they do for other hate crime groups. I was interviewed on live on the Sky News 'Sunrise' programme on 4th April and featured, alongside comments from Jon Garland, on a BBC Online article focused on the groups covered by the new approach. I was also interviewed for BBC Radio Surrey.




Meanwhile, in recent months, two articles have been published:


Hodkinson, P. (2013) 'Spectacular Youth Cultures and Ageing: Beyond Refusing to Grow Up', Sociology Compass, 7 (1).


Hodkinson P. (2012) 'Family and Parenting in an Ageing ‘Youth’ Culture: A Collective Embrace of Dominant Adulthood'. Sociology doi: 10.1177/0038038512454351 - published online before print.


June 2012 - Two new journal publications...


An article entitled 'Family and Parenting in an Ageing 'Youth' Culture: A Collective Embrace of Dominant Adulthood?' has been accepted for publication in the journal Sociology. See publication page for further details.


The Journal of Youth Studies has accepted and published via its i-first facility my paper entitled Beyond Spectacular Specifics in the Study of Youth Cultures. See publications page for further details or see here for the article itself.




April 2012 - Research featured in another Guardian article


My research on ageing participants in 'youth' cultures has been included fairly prominently in a Guardian feature on older participants of the goth scene. The article can be viewed here.


October 2011 - Research on Ageing Goths featured in Guardian


I would emphasise that I did not tell the Guardian that punks and ravers 'grow out of it' as per the headline and brief reference to the same in the article, but that reference aside, this is overall a nicely put together summary of part of my research by Louise Tickle. The article can be viewed here.




June 2011 - Ageing and Goth Scene research featured on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed


I was interviewed today on 'Thinking Allowed' in relation to my recent research on ageing in the goth scene. You can listen to the show here.


June 2011 - Ageing in a Spectacular Youth Culture article now published in BJS


The British Journal of Sociology has now published volume 62, 2, containing my article 'Ageing in a Spectacular Youth Culture: Continuity, Change and Community Amongst Older Goths'. You can access this article from here.


January 2011 - Article on ageing and youth cultures accepted for British Journal of Sociology


I am pleased to have heard that some of my recent research on ageing members of 'youth' cultures - specifically focused on the goth scene - will be published in the British Journal of Sociology. See publications section for further detail.



October 2010 - Media, Culture and Society now released and available!


I'm delighted to say that Media, Culture and Society has been published and released. I do hope that people will find the book useful. For more details, contents and a sample chapter, see the publications page.



June 2010 - Media, Culture and Society cover


Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction is on schedule for release in October 2010. See cover and further details on the publications page.


June 2010 - Youth 2010 Conference all set...


The Youth 2010 conference takes place at the University of Surrey on 6th-8th July 2010 and features key note's from Rob MacDonald, Andy Bennett, Chris Griffin and Les Back as well as a host of papers from scholars in and beyond the UK. See for details.



March 2009 - 'Spectacular Youth' chapter published in Routledge Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood


This chapter comprises a critical analysis of debates around the use of fashion and style by young people. Taking studies of so-called 'spectacular subcultures' as my starting point, I focus on a range of ensuing arguments: does young people's use of style reflect social background or individual choice; shlould it be regarded as communal or individualistic; should it be interpreted as a form of creative resistance or an illustration of the influence of media?


March 2009 - Subculture and Style Symposium, New York


I recently spoke at the excellent Subculture and Style symposium at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Organised by the Museum at FIT, the event coincided with the end of the museum's much discussed Gothic: Dark Glamour exhibition and featured papers from a range of scholars from around the world. My paper focused critically upon attempts to read 'resistance' into the content of goth style. As an added bonus, I was able subsequently to visit Drexel University in Philadelphia to speak about my work on social networking sites and youth identity.


March 2009 - Australia Trip


In November 2008, I visited Griffith University in Australia. The trip involved several talks, including one at the Centre for Public Culture and Ideas and another at the Institute for Modern Art in Brisbane. I also attended two conferences, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Australian and New Zealand branch conference in Brisbane and the Australian Sociological Association Conference in Melbourne. My talks focused upon the significance of goth style in repsect of gender and sexuality, the use of social networking sites by young people and the implications of music web site Last FM for patterns of music taste and identity.


July 2008 - Publications now available to download from this site


I have obtained permission to make some of my publications available on this site. I'm hoping that others will also be available soon. See the publications section for details.



May 2008 - Keynote at 21st Century Teenager conference


I am looking forward to particiating as keynote speaker in the 21st Century Teenager conference, which takes place at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds 10-12 July. My paper will focus on young people and personal online space, with a particular emphasis on social networking sites.


April 2008 - Grounded Theory Chapter in Researching Social Life - 3rd Edition


The new edition of Nigel Gilbert's Researching Social Life collection is now available and features a number of new chapters, including one from myself on 'Grounded Theory and Inductive Research'. The chapter outlines the principles and mechanics of the approach before assessing a variety of criticisms to which it has been subject.



January 2008 - Article on Young People and Social Networking Sites published in YOUNG


This article, co-authored with Sian Lincoln, focuses upon the apparent similarities between young people's use of social networking sites and their use of personal physical spaces such as the bedroom. Using case study research based on the online journal site LiveJournal, the paper argues that social networking sites offer a personal space in which they can display and make sense of identity and in which to socialise with hand-picked groups of friends. The article is published in YOUNG volume 16, issue 1, but if you would like a copy then feel free to email me.



Previous News

13 Nov 2007 - Chapter published in Routledge Companion to Gothic

2 Sept 2007 - Online Journals, Social Networking Sites - article published in NMS

12 June 2007 - Youth Cultures book released

27 March 2007 - Two immanent publications...

21 January 2007 - Seminar - Young People, New Technologies and Political Engagement

26th November 2006 - BBC Culture Show, Youth Cultures update

10th October 2006 - Walkie Talkie event in Belgium

5th August 2006 - Uses of Blogs released and available for purchase

9th July 2006 - Youth Cultures submitted & Successful Kaunas trip

16th June 2006 - Youth Cultures book almost complete, Lithuania trip

3 May 2006 - Article on Goth Culture and Violence in Dose Magazine

15th April 2006 - BMJ Study Identifies Correlation Between Goths and Self-Harm





Paul Hodkinson