Matthew Worley
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Oi! Oi! Oi!
Class, locality and British punk
in Fight back
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This chapter aims to reassess, contextualise and explain the contentious nature of Oi! in order to recover a marginalised voice that offers insight into aspects of broader socio-economic, political and cultural change. It focuses on Oi!'s class rhetoric and use of locality as key components of class-cultural identity. Oi! is located within the broader trajectory of British punk. The chapter discusses competing interpretations of Oi! with regard to wider debate on the politics of youth culture. It outlines Oi!'s predominant motifs in relation to the working-class milieu from which it emerged. If Oi! offered a view from the dead end of the street, as Garry Johnson insisted, then the chapter hopes to historicise its vision of a blighted early 1980s Britain. The chapter proposes that youth cultures and popular music provide a portal into the formative thoughts, aspirations and concerns of a not insubstantial section of the population.

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Fight back

Punk, politics and resistance


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