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Performing Punk: Subcultural Authentications and the Positioning of the Mainstream

Hannerz, Erik LU (2013)
Abstract
This thesis is about how and in opposition to what punk is defined and lived out by punks in Sweden and Indonesia. Arguing against the previous research’s presumption that subcultural meaning constitutes a single set of meaning, this study points to two patterned sets of meanings, each constructed out of several different definitions of the mainstream as well as the subcultural authentic. Consequently, a central research question concerns how to theoretically account for similarly structured and structuring heterogeneities across and between the Indonesian and Swedish cases. Drawing from extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in which a variety of interpretations of punk have been explored, six different definitions of... (More)
This thesis is about how and in opposition to what punk is defined and lived out by punks in Sweden and Indonesia. Arguing against the previous research’s presumption that subcultural meaning constitutes a single set of meaning, this study points to two patterned sets of meanings, each constructed out of several different definitions of the mainstream as well as the subcultural authentic. Consequently, a central research question concerns how to theoretically account for similarly structured and structuring heterogeneities across and between the Indonesian and Swedish cases. Drawing from extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in which a variety of interpretations of punk have been explored, six different definitions of the

mainstream are outlined. Each of these refers in turn to a particular script through which subcultural styles and identities are performed and authenticated as set apart. These different definitions are then combined into two patterned sets of meaning through a consistency in terms of how the binary subcultural/mainstream is worked and extended: A convex pattern, involves a boundary work to what is defined as external to punk, bending outwards. A concave points instead bends inwards, a boundary work against mainstream internal to punk. By showing how these patterns are interrelated spatially and symbolically, it is argued that subcultural meaning as well as the authentic have to be approached from within the subcultural. The mainstream is thus released from having an inherent meaning as “the outside,” “the dominant,” or “the commercial,” and more so, so is the subcultural and the subcultural authentic. Consequently, the same object can be performed differently, drawing upon different binaries, or through working the same binaries differently, to extend the subcultural through the use of analogies and metaphors. The total similarity between how punk is performed in Sweden and Indonesia, as well as the consistent differences between the two patterns,

point to a relative autonomy of the subcultural. Different definitions of the subcultural authentic and the mainstream are therefore not a matter of commitment, or degrees of authenticity, but rather different means to communicate, interpret, and act upon the subcultural. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Lalander, Philip, Malmö högskola
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
subculture, punk, mainstream, authentication, style, identity, cultural sociology, ethnography, convex, concave, patterns of meaning
pages
281 pages
publisher
Uppsala universitet
defense location
Uppsala
defense date
2013-11-29 10:00
ISBN
978-91-506-2375-8
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
62dc40d6-9ab2-4065-a685-9dc1762bc96f (old id 5424632)
date added to LUP
2015-05-21 13:21:02
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:15
@misc{62dc40d6-9ab2-4065-a685-9dc1762bc96f,
  abstract     = {This thesis is about how and in opposition to what punk is defined and lived out by punks in Sweden and Indonesia. Arguing against the previous research’s presumption that subcultural meaning constitutes a single set of meaning, this study points to two patterned sets of meanings, each constructed out of several different definitions of the mainstream as well as the subcultural authentic. Consequently, a central research question concerns how to theoretically account for similarly structured and structuring heterogeneities across and between the Indonesian and Swedish cases. Drawing from extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in which a variety of interpretations of punk have been explored, six different definitions of the<br/><br>
mainstream are outlined. Each of these refers in turn to a particular script through which subcultural styles and identities are performed and authenticated as set apart. These different definitions are then combined into two patterned sets of meaning through a consistency in terms of how the binary subcultural/mainstream is worked and extended: A convex pattern, involves a boundary work to what is defined as external to punk, bending outwards. A concave points instead bends inwards, a boundary work against mainstream internal to punk. By showing how these patterns are interrelated spatially and symbolically, it is argued that subcultural meaning as well as the authentic have to be approached from within the subcultural. The mainstream is thus released from having an inherent meaning as “the outside,” “the dominant,” or “the commercial,” and more so, so is the subcultural and the subcultural authentic. Consequently, the same object can be performed differently, drawing upon different binaries, or through working the same binaries differently, to extend the subcultural through the use of analogies and metaphors. The total similarity between how punk is performed in Sweden and Indonesia, as well as the consistent differences between the two patterns,<br/><br>
point to a relative autonomy of the subcultural. Different definitions of the subcultural authentic and the mainstream are therefore not a matter of commitment, or degrees of authenticity, but rather different means to communicate, interpret, and act upon the subcultural.},
  author       = {Hannerz, Erik},
  isbn         = {978-91-506-2375-8},
  keyword      = {subculture,punk,mainstream,authentication,style,identity,cultural sociology,ethnography,convex,concave,patterns of meaning},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {281},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xab6e610)},
  title        = {Performing Punk: Subcultural Authentications and the Positioning of the Mainstream},
  year         = {2013},
}