Punk Movement Research Paper

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“A youth movement of the late 70’s characterized by anti-establishment slogans and outrageous clothes and hairstyles” , is the definition of punk in the Collins English dictionary. And yet it also defines it as “An inferior, rotten or worthless person or thing” . Which one of these definitions truly defines the punk movement and the people who listened to the music and followed the fashion? The key aspect discussed will be what punk represented, what it stood for alongside who it represented in society and how it helped causes and issues surrounding youths in the late seventies.

Punk was depicted as a predominantly working class movement. Even though punk emerged from the fashion boutiques and art schools of London, it was interpreted by
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The clash were one of the most politically committed punk bands, producing songs protesting against dole queue politics, racism and denouncing the United States in addition to the apathy of people who were in opposition to such problems , leading to punk becoming social commentary. Connecting their music to the lives of there audience with songs such as ‘career opportunities’ based on the plight of school leavers, illustrated the frustration and anger felt by a generation of punk rockers, allowing them to deal with subjects that mattered . Equally important was the contribution to punk that The Sex Pistols brought through their rhetoric of ‘Anarchy’, ‘pop’ and ‘violence’ against ‘rock’, ‘authority’ and ‘middle class society’ to show the politic, economic, social and cultural crisis that was consuming Britain . Writing a song entitled ‘Anarchy in the UK’ was a statement made about independence and a do-it-yourself attitude , alongside their iconic song ‘God save the Queen’ not being an anti-royalist statement, nor was it written about hatred for the English race but instead because they were fed up with how they were being mistreated . For instance, the lyric ‘no future’ was a reflection on the mass unemployment punks experienced, “we were fucked. There were no …show more content…
In contrast to growing up in the sixties where everyone was looking forward, youths in 1975 were facing unemployment and the dole queue. Working class teenagers were struggling to find their first jobs due to the recession as many left school early with no qualifications; their only option graduate or otherwise was a step down from the classroom to a life on the dole, which happened to 104,000 school leavers in June 1977 . “It’s not much fun to be young today” was a suitable comment made by an editorial entitled punk future, as the youth felt disillusioned and betrayed with their hopeless situation leading them to seek out work through their clothes, dancing and entertainment , to replace the misery unemployment caused. Punk rock as emphasized by Keith Waterhouse couldn’t have existed without the ‘blank generation’ , the uneducated and unemployed youth of that era that punk was tailored for, considering they saw themselves as only amounting to a punk future . As a result of this the Sex pistols became to the youth of the seventies what the Beatles were to the sixties. Whereas the Beatles had generated optimism to coincide with the mood of the decade, the sex pistols’ music reflected the times and a generation that could only protest against their plight . The outlet that punk rock gave to the disadvantaged youth developed into them taking control by constructing their own autonomy, allowing them to own the punk

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