Report: “F**king freak! What the hell do you think you look like?”
An article examined whether targeted attacks on ‘alternative subculture’ members warranted classification as hate crimes. Drawing on qualitative interviews with respondents mostly affiliated to the Goth scene, it said that they experienced extensive verbal harassment and, for some respondents, repeated incidents of targeted violence. The article argued that such experiences bore comparison with key facets of hate crime.
Greater Manchester Police’s categorization of targeted attacks on ‘alternative subculture’ members as hate crimes prompted extensive debate about whether such incidents are comparable to those of recognized hate crime groups.
Hate crime experts have contributed to this debate, but there is a lack of detailed empirical research on the subject. Drawing on qualitative interviews with 21 respondents mostly affiliated to the goth scene, this article uncovers extensive experience of verbal harassment and, for some respondents, repeated incidents of targeted violence.
The nature and impact of such experiences, we argue, bear comparison with key facets of hate crime. Such evidence informs and underlines the importance of conceptual arguments about whether hate crime can or should be extended beyond recognized minority groups.