Explaining punk
A review of existing accounts
in Networks of sound, style and subversion
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This chapter reviews a number of theories of punk's emergence. Punk was a response to alienation and domination on behalf of working-class youths, bolstered by indignation at the co-optation of previous youth rebellion. The idea that punk was a response to the alienation of working-class youth is associated with the Centre for Contemporary Culture Studies (CCCS). Punk was also a response to frustration at the state of popular music in the UK in the mid 1970s. Punk was inspired by a number of earlier attempts to recapture the vibrancy and excitement of pop's history. Punk was the product of Malcolm McLaren's entrepreneurial machinations and/or the charisma of John Lydon. The chapter considers factor which has figured strongly in post-strain sociological theories of collective action: opportunity. Punk was a response to new opportunities for innovation within the music industry.

Networks of sound, style and subversion

The punk and post-punk worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield, 1975–80


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