Masculinity is the System: British Punk and Working- Class Masculinities, 1976-1990s

Presented by Eddie Watson, History PhD Student

Punk emerged at a critical juncture in British history. The 1970s witnessed the breakdown of the post-war consensus and a crisis in British manufacturing industries. After the optimism of the early 1960s, with low unemployment and economic stability, the 1970s disrupted complacencies of progress and improvement. My dissertation explores the relationship between working-class masculinities and punk in 1970s Britain. It analyzes how working-class people navigated a period of economic turmoil through the consumption of popular music, low-budget do-it-yourself (DIY) production, and urban spaces. My research expands on Matthew Worley’s historical overview of punk by focusing on gender and youth culture. By framing this study in terms of masculinity, it places social experience alongside cultural representation. Even though the punk movement initially embraced women as cultural producers, punk came to be understood as an articulation of violent, working-class masculinity. My project interrogates this categorization by looking at the lived experiences of young men and women as well as their self-representations. This research draws from oral testimonies, newspapers, court records, documentary footage, and punk ephemera, such as fanzines, posters, photographs, and clothing.

Friday, April 26 at 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Garrison Hall (GAR), 1.102
128 INNER CAMPUS DR , Austin, Texas 78705

Event Type

Academics, Arts & Humanities

Target Audience

Students, Faculty

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