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Punk, politics and resistance

The Subcultures Network is a cross-disciplinary research network for scholars and students interested in the relationship between subcultures (in all their forms) and wider processes of social, cultural and political change. Bringing together theoretical analyses, empirical studies and methodological discussions, the network is designed to explore the relationships between subcultures and their historical context, and the place of subcultures within patterns of cultural and political change. This book is very much a product of the Network's brief and emerged, in large part, from the inaugural symposium held at London Metropolitan University in September 2011. The book is divided into three parts, each with a broadly defined theme. The first of these relates to punk and identity, particularly with regard to gender, class, age and race. The second part looks at punk's relationship to locality and space. In particular, it deals with two overlapping processes. First, the ways in which punk's transmission allowed for diverse interpretation and utilisation of the cultural form beyond local, regional and national boundaries. Second, the extent to which punk's aesthetic and expression was shaped by, inspired and reflected the environments in which its protagonists lived. The third and final part concentrates on communication and reception. From within the culture, the language of punk is brought under discursive analysis by Melani Schröter, who looks at the critiques of 'normality' contained within the lyrics of German punk bands from the late 1970s through to the present day.

Pop, politics and punk fanzines from 1976

Ripped, torn and cut offers a collection of original essays exploring the motivations behind – and the politics within – the multitude of fanzines that emerged in the wake of British punk from 1976. Sniffin’ Glue (1976–77), Mark Perry’s iconic punk fanzine, was but the first of many, paving the way for hundreds of home-made magazines to be cut and pasted in bedrooms across the UK. From these, glimpses into provincial cultures, teenage style wars and formative political ideas may be gleaned. An alternative history, away from the often-condescending glare of London’s media and music industry, can be formulated, drawn from such titles as Ripped & Torn, Brass Lip, City Fun, Vague, Kill Your Pet Puppy, Toxic Grafity, Hungry Beat and Hard as Nails. Here, in a pre-internet world, we see the development of networks and the dissemination of punk’s cultural impact as it fractured into myriad sub-scenes: industrial, post-punk, anarcho, Oi!, indie, goth. Ripped, torn and cut brings together academic analysis with practitioner accounts to forge a collaborative history ‘from below’. The first book of its kind, this collection reveals the contested nature of punk’s cultural politics by turning the pages of a vibrant underground press.

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A history of northern soul

This book is a social history of northern soul. It examines the origins and development of this music scene, its clubs, publications and practices, by locating it in the shifting economic and social contexts of the English midlands and north in the 1970s. The popularity of northern soul emerged in a period when industrial working-class communities were beginning to be transformed by deindustrialisation and the rise of new political movements around the politics of race, gender and locality. The book makes a significant contribution to the historiography of youth culture, popular music and everyday life in post-war Britain. The authors draw on an expansive range of sources including magazines/fanzines, diaries, letters, and a comprehensive oral history project to produce a detailed, analytical and empathetic reading of an aspect of working-class culture that was created and consumed by thousands of young men and women in the 1970s. A range of voices appear throughout the book to highlight the complexity of the role of class, race and gender, locality and how such identities acted as forces for both unity and fragmentation on the dance floors of iconic clubs such as the Twisted Wheel (Manchester), the Torch (Stoke-on-Trent), the Catacombs (Wolverhampton) and the Casino (Wigan).

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Stephen Catterall and Keith Gildart

which sought to dismantle some of the myths that had been attached to the ‘politics’ of popular music.18 In response, a number of historians, in particular those who formed part of the Subcultures Network that was established in 2012, have produced various monographs and edited collections that have sought to revisit the history of youth and popular music.19 The network has its own book series, Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music, and its leading figures continue to deliver innovative papers on the international conference circuit. One of

in Keeping the faith
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Adventures in reality: why (punk) fanzines matter
Matthew Worley, Keith Gildart, Anna Gough-Yates, Sian Lincoln, Bill Osgerby, Lucy Robinson, John Street and Pete Webb

perfect medium for criticism, self-examination, self-expression and communication. Taken all together, and in keeping with the Subcultures Network’s aim to broker cross-disciplinary discussion, the chapters included here bring varied perspectives to the practice, process and politics of punk-related fanzines. There are limitations: questions of class and race are but touched upon and warrant far greater attention. Part IV, ‘Global Communications’, is but the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Non-punk scenes also generated fanzines of equal and distinct interest. But

in Ripped, torn and cut
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From protest to resistance
Matthew Worley, Keith Gildart, Anna Gough-Yates, Sian Lincoln and Bill Osgerby

particular, it seeks to provide a historical dimension to the study of popular music, youth and subculture, subjects that very few historians have deigned to engage with previously.12 Indeed, academic interest in youth culture has tended to be concentrated in the social sciences, primarily criminology, cultural studies, politics and sociology. For the historians involved in the Subcultures Network that compiled Fight Back, therefore, the book forms part of a wider objective to, first, claim such an area for serious historical research and, second, to learn from and

in Fight back
Stephen Catterall and Keith Gildart

cultural politics of the United States.1 More recently, scholars such as Joe Street and those connected with the Subcultures Network have noted the transatlantic connections between American soul music and its audience in Britain.2 This music contributed to aspects of a northern youth culture that had its origins in the late 1950s, yet retained some features of a workingclass culture that had been created by communities forged in the coal mines, cotton mills and factories of the industrial revolution.3 The symbolic, yet at the time largely unsuccessful, Motown Revue Tour

in Keeping the faith
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The Clash, Bologna and Italian punx
Giacomo Bottà and Ferruccio Quercetti

. See Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics 1935–1988 (London: Penguin, 1990).  6 In the case of Turin, see Giacomo Bottà, ‘Lo Spirito Continua: Torino and the Collettivo Punx Anarchici’, in The Subcultures Network (eds), Fight Back: Punk Politics and Resistance (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015), pp. 155–69.  7 The Movimento del 77 is a complex, extreme left-wing political movement, which left aside most of the idealism of 1968 and started focusing on the ‘needs’ of its ‘subjectivities’, for instance by practising the

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

class to challenge, not just the dominant ideology, but also the very cultural forms that made it dominant. Acknowledgements The author gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided to present an earlier version of this chapter at the Subcultures Network Conference (2011). These funds were received from a grant partly funded by Wilfrid Laurier University Operating Funds, and partly by the SSHRC Institutional Grant awarded to Laurier. I also wish to thank the organisers of the Conference, Matt Worley, and the two anonymous reviewers. Notes    1 Sex Pistols

in Fight back
Tanya Cheadle

class but rather their restricted  27  SEXUAL PROGRESSIVES access to secure private spaces or the means to travel abroad in pursuit of sexual encounters.94 While more research needs to be done, to date there is little evidence of the existence in Scotland for this period of gay subcultures, networks of male prostitutes or known cruising sites, with the first case of the use of public toilets as a homosexual meeting point, a feature of queer life elsewhere, not surfacing until 1895.95 Instead, meetings between men seeking sex appear to have been primarily

in Sexual progressives