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Fighting masculinity on the Russian punk scene
Hilary Pilkington

This chapter draws on ethnographic research conducted in Vorkuta and St Petersburg under the auspices of the project 'Post-socialist punk: Beyond the double irony of self-abasement'. These two case studies are indicative of the wide spectrum of punk scenes in contemporary Russia. Through a comparison of fighting within punk cultures on different scenes in contemporary Russia, the chapter demonstrates the importance of socio-cultural context and inter-group communication in shaping cultural practices and strategies. It aims to contribute to understanding the meanings attached to fighting as well as the ambiguities over masculinity within, and around, punk culture. The chapter considers the frequently chaotic and opportunistic nature of punk violence. This mode of fighting is articulated not only as intensely pleasurable but through a peculiar narrativisation of punk fighting as tales of 'heroic incompetence' that constitute an important resource for ironic story-telling.

in Fight back