Emo and The Paradox of Contemporary Youth Culture

Emo (short for emotional) emerged as a form of youth culture right at the start of the twenty-first century. This essay looks at the difficulty of defining emo, and what this implies about contemporary youth cultures more broadly. It discusses some of the key characteristics of the style, including issues of emotional expression, masculinity and self-harm; and how it was represented in music videos, in the mainstream media, and online, both by emos themselves and by those who professed to hate them.

You can download the whole essay by clicking here, or if you want to read the illustrated version, click on the subheadings below to read the different sections:

  1. In search of emo
  2. Reading emo
  3. A structure of feeling
  4. Mediating emo
  5. Disavowing emo
  6. Sources and references