Response to “DIY Democracy: The Direct Action Politics of US Punk” Response

Dawson Barrett’s article “DIY Democracy: The Direct Acton Politics of U.S Punk Collectives explains how the values of the punk market transcended over into politics. Barrett explains that those on the punk subculture aim to set themselves apart from the mainstream and have been able to do so because of how efficient it is. From my own understanding Iv deduced that through punk the younger generation was able to develop their own individual political views. The article states that, “… punk is often more successful in achieving what he calls the “subjective” aspects of politics, …, than in achieving the “objective” aspects…”. I understood this to mean that punk allows for its audience to develop an awareness of issues and the understand they role they play but it does help improve the overall problem. Barrett then goes on to take about punk as an institution that is essentially self-sufficient, “…the powerful for inclusion, the punk movement has built its own elaborate network of counter-institutions, including music venues, media, record labels, and distributors.” The punk movement is based on challenging the government and society by not conforming and embracing individuality; by establishing and creating its own community it separates itself from the mainstream.

Overall, I thought that this article provided an in depth look and understanding of what the driving forces behind the development of punk are. I found it particularly interesting that punk actually places a lot of emphasis on politics and the government; I personally have always understood punk to be about ‘sticking it to the man’ and showing that you don’t care. However, this article detailed the ways in which those involved in the punk movement were possible more politically aware than other groups or subcultures. Another point I found interesting was that from the outside looking in it would see that within punk there aren’t any rules that are to be followed, its seems more like a free for all but, because of political and social awareness there are rules that are involved to avoid issues within the group. In conclusion, though the goal of punk was to set itself apart, I found that it more or less abided by the same structure but allowed from more individuality.


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