Punk, Politics and British Youth Culture, 1975-85

Punk has become a defining moment of British cultural history. In its rhetoric and style, punk seemed to encapsulate the late 1970s: the sense of crisis so resonant of the decade. It also seemed to infuse youth culture and popular culture with political significance.

The late 1970s and early 1980s saw the emergence of Rock Against Racism (RAR) and the revival of CND, both of which came to be associated with punk's platform of protest. This project is therefore designed to examine the substance of punk, delving into the performance, processes and product of punk to assess the extent to which it formed significant site of political expression. In so doing, it will explore the ways in which youth culture and popular music can reflect and affect social change. It will consider how young people forge and express their political opinions.

The Leverhulme Trust's support relates to the project's innovative approach and its broader relevance in considering the ways in which young people use cultural forms to express their concerns, desires and identities. 

Professor Matthew Worley
University of Reading