Loughborough University
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Punk and anarchism: UK, Poland, Indonesia

posted on 2016-07-26, 08:32 authored by Jim Donaghey
This thesis explores the relationships between punk and anarchism in the contemporary contexts of the UK, Poland, and Indonesia from an insider punk and anarchist perspective. New primary ethnographic information forms the bulk of the research, drawing on Grounded Theory Method and an engagement with Orientalism. The theoretical framework is informed by the concept of antinomy which embraces complication and contradiction and rather than attempt to smooth-out complexities, impose a simplified narrative, or construct a fanciful dialectic, the thesis examines the numerous tensions that emerge in order to critique the relationships between punk and anarchism. A key tension which runs throughout the PhD is the dismissal of punk by some anarchists. This is often couched in terms of lifestylist versus workerist anarchism, with punk being denigrated in association with the former. The case studies bring out this tension, but also significantly complicate it, and the final chapter analyses this issue in more detail to argue that punk engages with a wide spectrum of anarchisms, and that the lifestylist / workerist dichotomy is anyway false. The case studies themselves focus on themes such as anti-fascism, food sovereignty/animal rights activism, politicisation, feminism, squatting, religion, and repression. New empirical information, garnered through numerous interviews and extensive participant observation in the UK, Poland, and Indonesia, informs the thick description of the case study contexts. The theory and analysis emerge from this data, and the voice of the punks themselves is given primacy here.


Loughborough University graduate school



  • Social Sciences


  • Politics and International Studies

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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