the conversation there.
From across the small room, Lucy, a British
squatter, drunk and laughing, yelled: Don’t pretend you
don’t know what it means. You’re not fooling
anyone. It means she likes it fast, hard, and up the ass.
We all laughed.
In the squatters’
subcultures, only “real” or authentic squatters can
inhabit positions of authority. Since being an authentic squatter is
already fraught with unstated behavioral and stylistic expectations, I
–the major labels’
control over the airwaves may have something to do with it.
Subcultural theories of pop, youth culture and deviance would predict the continuation of a youth subculture around ‘independent’
music in the 1980s. This assumption, however, fails to register the
fact that independent records have usually reflected the market differentiation and the massive pluralism of pop taste available from
the major record companies. For Play Hard, for instance, there has
been a ‘strength through diversity’. For Dave Haslam this is not
necessarily a matter of ‘following
the focus on the Sex Pistols
DIY punk as a form of cultural resistance
and London, is problematic because it leaves a part of punk’s history out of
the picture; specifically, that ‘part of the punk tradition that was never fully
co-opted … and which is still thriving today’.6 Part of this ‘punk tradition’
includes contemporary DIY punk, the focus of this chapter.
Contemporary DIY punk, what I prefer to call a subcultural movement, is a relatively autonomous form of punk within the wider, global punk
subculture. This subcultural movement has its origins in
conflict is that between a ‘common
sense’ that supports the status quo, and a counter narrative that challenges the existing order.
These ideas come to be focused more precisely upon popular culture
in the research that emerges from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural
Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham in the late 1960s and
1970s. While not challenging Adorno’s claims about industrialised
mass culture in general, CCCS invests subcultures – in the guise of teddy
boys, mods, punks, hippies, rastas and others – with a capacity to act
as sites of resistance
associated with the CCCS, whose concept of subculture was
discussed in Chapter 2. All post-war youth subcultures are a reaction
against and form of resistance to the twofold domination and alienation
of working-class youth according to the CCCS; that is, to their alienation, as members of the working class, from a bourgeois culture which
has achieved dominance and legitimacy (‘hegemony’) within contemporary capitalism, and their alienation, as young people, from the adult
working-class culture of their parents. Alienated from the cultural environments in which they find
young people remained underexplored.5 Studies of the
political economy of the media revealed the factors shaping cultural production and semiotic analyses explored the meanings of cultural texts, but how
popular culture was received was less well known.
The two principal traditions of work closest to doing so were studies
of audiences and youth subcultures.6 Briefly, until the late 1970s audience
studies had often been influenced by a one-way conveyor belt model whereby
meanings were viewed as unproblematically conveyed from the intentions of
cultural producers into
reflects a profound change in the inner lives of Londoners, as
they valued new intimacies in an atmosphere of post-war affluence
Yet not everyone in London enjoyed the comforts of domesticity.
The emergence of visible youth subcultures, such as the Teddy Boys,
intensified anxieties about post-war youth. It was partly the attacks
by gangs of Teddy Boys on West Indians that led to the Notting Hill
riots of 30 August to 4 September 1958, in which most of the 400
arrests were of white teenagers from Notting Dale. Officers in the
streets described crowds
Dandyism, fashion and subcultural style in Angela Carter’s fiction of the
, the most interestingly
attired characters are frequently men. Paying close attention to how
the style revolution impacted on conventional forms of masculinity
in the 1960s can help make sense of the less coherent gender politics
of these texts, in which Carter explores countercultural rebellion
through dandyism and androgyny.
Carter’s focus on style enables her to critique the gendering of
subculture itself as a predominantly masculine arena. She repeatedly
returns to the male dandy as initiating a kind of crisis in patriarchal
culture, as his power inheres, like
company] in support of free public transport.
But mainly we discussed organising gigs, where we had to do everything: get
the PA, design the posters and print them, go around by night to hang them
on walls, write the flyers. There were all these elements that could feed into
political militancy, a musical scene or urban subculture; it was more like a mix
of all of the above.8
Via Ravenna also provided an ideological link to pre-punk anarchist politics and a physical space where the Collettivo was able to reflect on the political
significance of what it was doing. This
authority function in a social movement
subculture that disavows such concepts. The squatters movement, which
defines itself primarily as anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian, is
profoundly structured by the unresolved and perpetual contradiction
between both public disavowal and simultaneous maintenance of hierarchy
and authority within the movement.
This study analyzes how this contradiction is then
reproduced in different micro-social interactions, examining the methods
by which people negotiate minute