Wannabes, Goths, and Christians
The Boundaries of Sex, Style, and Status
Amy C. Wilkins’s intimate ethnography of these three subcultures reveals a complex tug-of-war between the demands of race, class, and gender in which transgressing in one realm often means conforming to expectations in another. Subcultures help young people, especially women, navigate these connecting territories by offering them different sexual strategies: wannabes cross racial lines, goths break taboos by becoming involved with multiple partners, and Christians forego romance to develop their bond with God. Avoiding sanctimonious hysteria over youth gone astray, Wilkins meets these kids on their own terms, and the result is a perceptive and provocative portrait of the structure of young lives.
“The subjects of this fascinating book are young, white, and miserable. They are drawn to outrageous subcultures in search of status and meaning. In this sensitive account, Wilkins uncovers the inklings of a new sexual revolution.”