Protest and Survive: A Brief History and Analysis of the Politics of Punk
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Politics are an important aspect of most punk music, and many authors, avoiding concrete description, paint the genre with a nebulous left-ish brush. This, however, is insufficient at explaining how and why the genre has adapted to (as well as helped shape) geographically and culturally disparate communities across the globe over the last half century. Moreover, most academic treatment of punk rock comes from a cultural and sociological perspective, lacking a theoretical and analytical discussion of the music itself. This document will synthesize the evolving genre’s musical and cultural entanglements with politics. To this end, the document will focus on landmark bands, albums, and locations around the world in a mostly chronological order with occasional overlap, documenting cultural development of the genre with supplemental musical analysis. With rigorous primary-source analysis of punk rock zines, this document will also recognize punk rock communities and transmission of ideas outside of the bands themselves. The elusive intertwining and occasionally paradoxical stances of the punk subculture are precisely why creating a single definition of punk rock is a difficult endeavor. Thus, it is important to recognize and enumerate these areas of conflict to better understand the music and the communities it serves.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Post-Pistols Punk in the U.K., 1977-1985 -- Early U.S. Hardcore -- Growth and change, 1985-2000 -- Punk Post-2000 -- Zines -- Punk in marginalized communities -- Conclusion