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Peace Punks and Punks Against Racism: Resource Mobilization and Frame Construction in the Punk Movement

Author(s): Michael James Roberts | Ryan Moore

Journal: Music and Arts in Action
ISSN 1754-7105

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: sociology | cultural studies | music | social movements | punk rock

In recent years, scholars have begun to attend to the gap in our understanding of the relationship between music and social movements. One such example is Corte’s and Edwards’ “White Power Music and the Mobilization of Racist Social Movements.” Our research shares the perspective of Corte and Edwards (2008) which emphasizes the centrality of music to social movement organizations, especially in terms of resource mobilization, but rather than look at how punk music was used as an instrument by an external social movement like the White Power movement, we look at how punks themselves joined social movements and altered the dynamics of the movements they joined. We also provide examples of punk involvement in left wing social movements to emphasize the indeterminate nature of punk politics. We examine two such cases: the Rock Against Racism movement in the U.K., and the Peace movement in the U.S. In both cases, punks made use of their independent media as a means to provide an infrastructure for mobilization of resources to sustain the punks’ involvement in these social movements and the unique framing provided by punks, which altered the dynamic of the movements they joined. What makes punk an interesting case is that the “do-it-yourself” ethic of independent media construction that was at the centre of the punk movement made it possible for punks to make connections to various other social movements as well as alter the dynamics of those social movements. In these cases, punk music was not used as a means toward an end, but rather punks themselves had a significant impact on these movements both in terms of resource mobilization and frame alignment.
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