‘Crisis music’ and political ephemera in the emergent ‘structure of feeling’, 1976–83
Herbert Pimlott

This chapter outlines Raymond Williams's 'structure of feeling' and related concepts and extends the range of cultural practices to be taken into consideration. It reclaims those products of subcultural production as resources for reconstructing the 'emergent' 'structure of feeling' as revealed through the typeface, layout, words, phrases, symbols and sounds of the music and political ephemera. The Do-it-Yourself (DIY) culture of punk included fans producing zines, which can be seen as 'ideological magazines' creating 'ideological musical communities', which were important in the politicisation of youth subcultures. The chapter demonstrates the importance of recovering the 'lived experiences' of a subaltern social class or subculture as a means to gaining a fuller understanding of the past. It suggests that 'crisis music' is a more appropriate label for the pre-emergent culture as experienced by radical, working-class youth at the time.

in Fight back