Essay about Political Advocacy in Anarchist Punk Music

Essay about Political Advocacy in Anarchist Punk Music

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Political Advocacy in Anarchist Punk Music

Anarchist political advocacy has been a driving force in punk music since its emergence in the 1970s. Although the basic philosophy has remained unchanged, punks have significantly altered the ways they espouse their beliefs, over time becoming more militant and directly confrontational with those that hold power. This paper attempts use quantitative and qualitative analysis to determine how significantly anarcho-punk political advocacy has changed between the early 1980s and present day. Additionally, this paper argues that increased militancy is a byproduct of the progressive masculinization of punk music, which generates confusion over political roles. This role confusion results in failed political advocacy and counterproductive outcomes.

Nature of Study

The bands selected to represent the United Kingdom from the late 70s and early 80s are Crass, Gang of Four, and the X-Ray Spex. Contemporary American punk is represented by Against All Authority, Against Me!, and Strike Anywhere. The British bands are well-known, archetypal early punk bands, from three distinct geographic areas, making them a fair cross-section of the subculture at the time. The American bands represent three different styles of punk music, frequently tour, and are internationally known among the subculture. Additionally, their records are backed by strong distribution networks and can be purchased in major music chain stores, making them an example of politically-charged punk music that is readily accessible to most interested listeners. All of the bands in the study express anarchist political views.

Power Play: Political Advocacy in Anarchist Punk Music

Using random sampling, ten songs were sel...


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...ture, which was built around ie, the household led by the male head of house.

16 To a great extent, these values privilege males at the expense of females and other males. Thus, the values that are acquired are those of competition, violence, sexism, and inequality.

17 Robert O. Keohane, `International Relations Theory: Contributions of a Feminist Standpoint," in Gender and International Relations. P. 44.

18 Take for example the Richmond Police Department's violent suppression of the Critical Mass bicycle rides or the essential lack of public credibility lent to the AAA-sponsored Tooth Fairy Project. Both efforts have received relatively little media attention or support outside of small punk enclaves.

19 Nancy Hirschmann, "Freedom, Recognition, and Obligation: A Feminist Approach to Political Theory," American Political Science Review, 83, 1989. p. 1231

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