Punk and Hardcore

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The relationship that punk rock has with class, especially in Britain, has become ever more complex since the late 1970s. This chapter will explore previous attempts to characterize punk’s class affiliations from both sociological and musical directions, and elicit a framework of connections that make up the somewhat contradictory nature of punk experience. Of course ‘punk’ is a contested term in itself, and this chapter will consider its meanings from the British punk explosion of the late 1970s through the post-punk era of the early 1980s and up to several strands of contemporary punk practice. While the focus will be maintained upon the British forms of punk rock, the American hardcore experience of the 1980s (primarily based around the DC scene of Minor Threat, Black Flag, The Minutemen and others) will provide insights into the stratification of the UK punk scene.

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