in Crisis music
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Rock Against Racism (RAR) operated between 1976 and 1981, and was a mass campaign that combined anti-racist politics with popular culture in Britain. The two musical forms became most closely identified with RAR: punk rock and reggae. The author aims to locate RAR within a lengthy tradition of left-wing engagement with popular culture. He also locates a tradition which had imbibed some of the spirit of the so-called 'New Left', a political tendency which was in itself a reaction against both the stultifying dogmatism of official Communism and the patently reactionary nature of Stalinism. The author then suggests how the RAR developed a cultural politics that accepted the necessity of engaging with the products of the capitalist 'culture industry', without succumbing to the pacifying effects of what Marxists term 'commodity fetishism'.

Crisis music

The cultural politics of Rock Against Racism



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