The Rise of the Washington D.C. Punk Subculture

Vad, Zsolt (2018) The Rise of the Washington D.C. Punk Subculture. Masters, Szegedi Tudományegyetem.

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This paper presents punk in a general sense, as well as a narrower category as a youth subculture. The aim of the thesis is to identify the role of the Washington D.C. punk subculture, the impact it has exerted on generations of fans globally, and to draw the conclusion that punk has a building, creative force in contrast to the common understanding of it being the subculture of nihilism, negation, chaos and anarchy. The scene will be introduced through the actions and ideas of one of the main figures of the American punk subculture of the 1980s and 90s, and an active performer and participant to this day, Ian MacKaye. The first part of the paper presents a short outline of the history of punk as a subculture with emphasis on its development from youth cultures and its main characteristics. The following chapter discusses punk as music and style. In this part of the paper the main focus is on the rebellious music and the contradiction that was part of the punk phenomenon. Some of the most eminent representatives are brought forward in this part as well as a brief introduction is given to the American punk scene in particular. The main part of the thesis unfolds the Washington D.C. punk scene, and the last, separate chapter is dedicated to the long lasting impact of the scene which is important to be aware of in order to understand the creative power the punks in the nation’s capital sparked in the early 80s and have fostered ever since. According to my approach, this impact is a key point in confirming my conclusion that punk can, in fact, make the world a better place.


Szegedi Tudományegyetem


Faculty of Arts


Angol Tanszék




Angol-Amerikai Intézet




Supervisor scientific name label
Bocsor, Dr. Péter

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Depositing User: szerkesztő BTK
Date Deposited: 2019. May. 02. 10:31
Last Modified: 2019. May. 03. 06:46

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