Political Advocacy in Anarchist Punk Music
Anarchist political advocacy has been a driving force in punk music since its emergence in the 1970s. Although the basic philosophy has remained unchanged, punks have significantly altered the ways they espouse their beliefs, over time becoming more militant and directly confrontational with those that hold power. This paper attempts use quantitative and qualitative analysis to determine how significantly anarcho-punk political advocacy has changed between the early 1980s and present day. Additionally, this paper argues that increased militancy is a byproduct of the progressive masculinization of punk music, which generates confusion over political roles. This role confusion results in…show more content… The data for the bands were pooled into groups for their respective historical time periods. The study additionally employed qualitative analysis of the lyrics of key songs from the bands, and gave consideration to documented political and social activism beyond the bands' music.
Results and Analysis
Descriptive statistical analysis of the song data indicates that contemporary US punks are much more likely to write songs with lyrics about the state or other insider institutions. US punks are also more likely to address insiders with the personal pronoun "you", suggesting a major shift in the rhetorical structure of punk music over a period of less than 20 years. Table 1 summarizes the raw data by group.
Group 1970s UK Punk Contemporary US Punk
Total Number of songs 30 30
Songs referencing insider institutions 7 17
Songs addressing insider institutions with personal pronouns 2 16
Table 1 Power Play: Political Advocacy in Anarchist Punk Music
As a proportion of total songs in the sample, 23.3% of songs from the UK group contain a reference to an insider individual or institution, while 6.7% address that insider directly. As a proportion of the subset, 28.7% of songs from the UK group about insiders are directed at them. Among the songs in US sample group, 56.7% reference an insider