Loughborough University
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The authentic punk: an ethnography of DIY music ethics

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posted on 2011-01-18, 09:43 authored by Alastair R. Gordon
This thesis examines how select participants came to be involved in DiY punk culture, what they do in it, and how, if they do, they exit from the culture. Underpinning this will be an ethnographic examination of how the ethics of punk informs their views of remaining authentic and what they consider to be a sell out and betrayal of these values. I illustrate how such ethics have evolved and how they inform the daily practice of two chosen DiY punk communities in Leeds and Bradford. I show how these communities reciprocally relate to each other. I ask such questions as what do the participants get out of what is often experienced as hard work and toil, particularly where it is fraught with a series of dilemmas bound up in politics, ethics, identity and integrity. I offer a grounded theory of how and what ways those involved in DiY punk authenticate themselves in their actions. This will demonstrate how and, more importantly, why DiY punks distinguish their ethical version of punk over and above what are taken as less favourable forms of punk. What happens if previous passionately held DiY beliefs are surrendered? Severe consequences follow should a participant sell out. I present an account of these and suggest that what they involve is not the clear-cut question that is sometimes assumed, either sincerely or selfrighteously.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© Alastair Robert Gordon

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

EThOS Persistent ID



  • en