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Nick Crossley

This chapter suggests that the network of Britain's post-punk world between 1976 and 1980 involved elements of network structures. It begins by looking to complexity science, a branch of academic inquiry which precisely addresses the question of coordination in very large systems, from insect swarms to neural networks. The chapter discusses two theories of network structure which show how very large networks are sometimes characterised by relatively short average path lengths, a property which, in turn, makes effective, efficient coordination and diffusion possible. One of these theories, posited by Duncan Watts, hypothesises a structure involving numerous dense clusters, connected by 'weak ties'. Watts's model envisages small world networks as tightly integrated clusters. The other, posited by Albert-Lászlo Barabási, suggests a structure centred upon a small number of hubs, each with a huge number of connections to other nodes in the network.

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
Abstract only
Nick Crossley

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book conceptualises punk and post-punk as 'music worlds' existing both on the local, city level and also spanning towns and cities, on a national level by drawing upon Howard Becker's concept of 'art worlds'. It suggests that punk had a mixed-class base, but was largely white in its first incarnation and also a preserve of the young. The chapter argues the fact that Liverpool, Manchester and other cities have been the point of origin and geographical centre of different music worlds both before and after punk. Competition was equal to cooperation in the process whereby the network cultivated a punk world, as it would be in the networks of Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and all other towns and cities which were to host punk and post-punk worlds.

in Networks of sound, style and subversion