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Difference Between Emo and Scene Subculture

Culture tells about the characteristics and social behaviour of a group of people. It also shines a light on the belief, language, knowledge, art, customs, habits and tradition followed by that particular group.  Each culture has its own unique practices which are learnt and embraced by the entire group.


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For example, the way people greet each other would be different in different cultures. So, a culture could act as an identity proof to know one’s character and behaviour.

Different types of culture are followed across the world. The origin of some culture date backs to tens of thousands of years before whereas some cultures were born in the late nineteenth century.

Apart from various culture, there exists a culture within the parent culture which has the essence of the former in a modified form. Emo and scene are such subcultures which originated in the late twentieth century.

The roots of emo subculture can be traced back to the music genre of punk rock (emotional hardcore) music. Whereas the offshoot of the emo and punk paved way for scene subculture during 2000.

Emo vs Scene Subculture

The difference between emo and subculture is that emo subculture is related more to indie and punk rock style while scene subculture itself relates more towards emo style.

Emo vs Scene Subculture

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Emo subculture revolves around the emotion of shyness, depression, angst, self-harm and introversion. Whereas Scene subculture is a youth-centric subculture that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States around 2000.

While the emo subculture had its popularity in the late twentieth century, scene subculture becomes famous in the starting of the twenty-first century.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonEmoScene
Other NameEmotional hardcoreScenester
Formation Period1970-1980 (Only after 1980, it started becoming more popular)1990’s – Mid 2000
Known forIt belongs to the genre of rock music, characterized by emotional and confessional music.A youth subculture whose roots can be found in the emotional subculture as well
Music GenreIndie rock, alternative rock, hardcore punk, post-hardcore, pop-punkMetalcore, crunkcore, deathcore, electronic music, pop-punk
Dressing StyleTight t-shirts with the band name, tight jeans, glasses with a thick rim and studded belts.Clothing with a bright colour (neon colour), skinny jeans, sunglasses, finger-less gloves, wristbands etc.

What is Emo Subculture?

The emo subculture originated from die-hard fans of emocore or emotional hardcore music genre. This music genre follows the style of punk rock music. It got reinvented with a lot of pop-punk or indie rock style.

The fans of this music genre paved way for emo subculture. Inspired by the music genre, they started having their own dressing style and appearance. People who were die-hard fans of emo music were referred to as emos or emo kids.

Emo fashion is unique in its own way. Their appearance includes tight t-shirt and jeans, long straight hair (black dyed), with dark eyeliner around their eyes. The best part was the hairstyle.

The long hair covered more than 50% of their face. They wore a thick-rimmed glass, with black wristbands and black fingernails. Sneakers and studded belts were common.

Though emo subculture gained huge popularity in its initial phase, it faced a lot of controversies due to a stronger emphasis on emotional expression. It is because of this, people started stereotyping emo subculture with angst, depression, shyness, highly emotionally sensitive and self-harm.

Nevertheless, emo subculture is still prevalent in most of the USA. Though it faced a decline in the year 2010, the revival of underground emo emerged.


What is Scene Subculture?

Scene subculture is a new form of a subculture which took shape in the mid of 2000s. It is also called as youth subculture due to its popularity among youths in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Crunkcore, metalcore, deathcore and post-hardcore are the music genre which is related to scene subculture. Though scene subculture has some of its traces to emotional hardcore, emo and scene subculture are different from each other.

Scenesters or scene kids, as they are called, are the members of the subculture. The scene fashion also consists of tight jeans but with bright coloured clothing. They too had a hairstyle of long, straight hair with cringes.

But they tend to colour with bright colour dye. Clothing of Neon colour was more common. Party sunglasses and baseball hats were also part of their attire.

Scene subculture had faced criticism from emos and heavy metal culture people for duplicating the style of the former. In fact, it started losing its popularity after 2010 but started regaining the fame again from 2019.

scene subculture

Main Differences Between Emo and Scene Subculture

  1. The Emo subculture originated much before than scene subculture.
  2. Emo subculture has its spread across most of the states in America whereas scene subculture enjoys its popularity in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
  3. Emo subculture came out of post-hardcore style whereas scene subculture traces its root to emotional hardcore as well.
  4. People who followed emo style were called as emos and fans of scene subculture were called as scenesters or scene kids.
  5. If the thick, horn-rimmed glass was common for emos, party sunglasses and baseball caps were common for scene kids.
  6. The attire of emo and scene kids were similar except that scene kids prefer to wear a bright coloured dress.
  7. Emo kids were termed to be more emotionally sensitive and depressed while scene kids were termed as bright and enthusiastic.
  8. There was a common belief that emos had a preference for soft music too, while hardcore music was the only preference for scene kids.
  9. Emos had a deep attraction to the black colour. They preferred black dye for their hair, black wristband and fingernails. Scenesters were more attracted to bright colours.
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