Understanding Death Suicide and Self-Injury among Adherents of the Emo Youth Subculture A Qualitative Study.pdf (320.74 kB)
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Understanding death, suicide and self-injury among adherents of the emo youth subculture: A qualitative study

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journal contribution
posted on 30.06.2020, 09:36 by Radek TrnkaRadek Trnka, Martin Kuska, Karel Balcar, Peter TavelPeter Tavel

Emo youth subculture bases its subcultural identification mostly on symbols of death, dying, suicide and other kinds of morbid content. The main goal of the present study was to explore attitudes toward suicidal behaviour and self-injury in emo adolescents. Semistructured in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 14 emo adherents, accompanied by an analysis of emo Web discussion forums. The results show a subculture-specific display of rules, i.e. norms of how one should express emotions. These unusual display rules enabled emo community members to express any actual emotional experience in public spaces without any inhibition. Emo participants reported that the main philosophy of the emo subculture is “to experience and express actual emotions without any restraint”. Furthermore, participants reported attitudes that included high acceptance of suicidal behaviour and self-injury. The escalation of strong emotions, for example, strong depression in the form of suicide, was perceived as something quite common in emo communities. Identification with the emo youth subculture is considered to be a factor strengthening vulnerability towards risky behaviours.


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