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Gothic rock evolved out of post punk during the late 1970s. Originally considered just a label for a small handful of punk rock/post punk bands, Goth only began to be defined as a separate movement in 1981. While most punk bands focused on aggressive, outward rock, the early gothic groups were more introverted and personal, with elements that can be traced to much older literary movements such as Gothic horror, Romanticism, existential philosophy, and the political construct of nihilism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_rock [Jun 2005]
Historically, Gothic rock started as a subset of the punk movement; with groups like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure and Joy Division, bands that were contemporaries of such early punk bands as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Buzzcocks and Generation X in the UK in 1977 - 1979. While the latter bands focused on aggressive, outward focused rock, the early goth groups were more introverted and personal. Originally considered just another aspect of the punk rock/post punk explosion, Goth only began to be defined as a separate movement with the emergence of Bauhaus in 1979.
The Goth movement diverged from Punk in any number of ways, especially its influences. While punk was firmly focused on the here and now, elements of goth culture can be traced to much older literary movements such as Gothic horror, Romanticism, existential philosophy, and the political construct of nihilism. The culture draws creative individuals often very interested in a variety of academic, artistic, religious and scientific movements; few subcultures place as great a value on knowledge as the goth rock movement. The Goth movement is often more disinterested in social and political values than many other subcultures, focusing largely on personal beliefs and often disregarding wider culture; although like any generalization this does not always stand. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_rock 
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