The intent and the purpose of the Gothic subculture is to be against the institutions that are considered mainstream. The Gothic subculture is anti-religion and anti-culture. The full purpose of the subculture that is known as Gothic is to get free of the bonds of the mainstream culture. It is not only fair to label Gothic as being inherently against mainstream culture, it is also something that they are very proud to stand for.
Yes, I think that it is fair to label the Gothic subculture as inherently against the mainstream culture, because that is the way that they try to portray themselves. Everything from the way they dress to the fact that they do not hang out with mainstream people, sends the message that they try to be counter culture.
In the late 70s Punk subculture began with garbage wars and rat infestations in Scotland and continued as a movement of disenfranchised citizens in all Western countries, mostly involving disenfranchised youth. Goth subculture is a direct branch of this movement. This kind of social "rebellion" has occured many times in history coinciding with eoconomic and socio-political struggles. In this case the disenfranchisement has been felt around the world and has gathered worldwide attention and participation. Members of the movement do not neccessarily subscribe to particular political views or religious beliefs, but share the frustration of living in a sub-par world where they already had little chance of having anything close an ideal life. The ideas that they want to be different or remain underground or are even against "normal" society are misrepresentations. Ideally what they really want is to live in a better world. They want the WORLD to be different, not to be different from it. As youth they had no political voice and no effective socfial influence. Now their social influence is much stronger and many of them do what they can to contribute to causes such as human rights, humane treatment of animals, endangered species, and ecological and even economic issues. Despite their very noticeable fashion statements and public involvement, mainstream society still fails to listen as the world around us disintegrates, in social and economic structure and the capacity to physically support human life and other life as we know it.
No, it is not fair to label the Gothic subculture as being against mainstream culture. They just have their own unique style and lifestyle that they like to follow, and just because it is different than what people would label as normal, does not mean that they are against us.
"The Gothic subculture"? What is this, 90's nostalgia night? "The Gothic subculture" is a bunch of aging techies and intellectuals who have settled quite comfortably into houses and families at this point in time. What little is left of it isn't unique or macabre or anything else. It's thoroughly mainstream.
I do not believe it is fair label the Gothic subculture as inherently against mainstream culture. In my personal opinion the Gothic subculture is mainly built around a particular style of fashion, although those following the subculture often look to their music and literature for more influence. These people still function in mainstream society and some could say they perpetuate the economy just as much as any other group.