Critical responses to Rock Against Racism
in Crisis music
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The most obvious place to start in assessing Rock Against Racism's (RAR's) politics and its links with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is the account in David Widgery's book Beating Time. Written from an insider's perspective, Beating Time advances the argument that the RAR/SWP partnership was crucial, both for the success of RAR and the health of socialism in Britain. When viewed as a popular-cultural phenomenon, it is accepted that punk rock and reggae were key components of RAR's success. RAR events were given prominent coverage in the music papers, with Sounds offering RAR space to promote itself in the journal's special report on racism in the music industry. Dick Hebdige famously described post-war British youth cultures as 'a succession of differential responses to the black immigrant presence in Britain'. RAR itself was founded in defence of the proposition that popular culture and multiculturalism went hand in hand.

Crisis music

The cultural politics of Rock Against Racism



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