The Punk Reader (Book)

Research Transmissions from the Local and the Global

The first offering in Intellect’s new Global Punk series, The Punk Reader: Research Transmissions from the Local and the Global is the first edited volume to explore and critically interrogate punk culture in relation to contemporary, radicalized globalization.

Series: Global Punk


Forty years after its inception, punk has gone global. The founding scenes in the United Kingdom and United States now have counterparts all around the world. Most, if not all, cities on the planet now have some variation of punk existing in their respective undergrounds, and long-standing scenes can be found in China, Japan, India, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Each scene, rather than adopting traditional interpretations of the punk filter, reflects national, regional and local identities.
The first offering in Intellect’s new Global Punk series, The Punk Reader: Research Transmissions from the Local and the Global is the first edited volume to explore and critically interrogate punk culture in relation to contemporary, radicalized globalization. Documenting disparate international punk scenes, including Mexico, China, Malaysia and Iran, The Punk Reader is a long-overdue addition to punk studies and a valuable resource for readers seeking to know more about the global influence of punk beyond the 1970s.

Mike Dines is a lecturer of music at Middlesex University.

Alastair Gordon is a senior lecturer of media and communication at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Paula Guerra is professor of sociology at the University of Porto.

Russ Bestley is reader in graphic design at London College of Communication.


The Punk Narrative Turned Upside Down: Research Transmissions from the Local to the Global

Russ Bestley, Mike Dines, Alastair 'Gords' Gordon & Paula Guerra

Chapter 1

Sell-out Bastards! Case-study Accounts of the Dilemmas of Authenticity in the UK/US Punk 1984-2001 and Beyond

Alastair 'Gords' Gordon

Chapter 2

'Nothing Like the Rest of Holland': The Groningen Punk Scene

Kirsty Lohman

Chapter 3

The Global and Local in Music Scenes: The Multiple Anchoring of Portuguese Punk

Augusto Santos Silva & Paula Guerra

Chapter 4

'Crack in the System'. A Bottom-up Analysis of the Anarcho-Punk Movement in Mexico

Alice Poma & Tommaso Gravante

Chapter 5

One Struggle, One Fight, All Day, All Night: Punk Cartographies in the Subway of São Paulo

Paula Guerra & Débora Gomes

Chapter 6

Golfos, Punkis, Alternativos, Indignados: Subterranean Tradition of Youth (Spain, 1960-2015)

Carles Feixa & Paula Guerra

Chapter 7

Narratives of Transition Within a Subculture: A Case Study of Nomadic Punks

Edward Avery-Natale

Chapter 8

Powerviolence, or, How to Play Punk with a 'Hammer' 

Benjamin van Loon

Chapter 9

Making Do in "Weird" Vancouver: DIY, Underground Venues and Documenting a Scene

Brian Fauteux

Chapter 10

'We Just Make Music': Deconstructing Notions of Authenticity in the Iranian DIY Underground

Theresa Steward

Chapter 11

'DIY or Die': Do It Yourself Production and the Struggle for an Autonomous Community in the Bandung Hardcore Punk Scene

Sean Martin-Iverson

Chapter 12

A Profane Existence?: DIY Culture, Sonic Extremism and Punk Identity in 21st Century in Malaysia

Marco Ferrarese

Chapter 13

The Punk Subculture in China

Jian Xiao



'The story of punk has long been told from the perspective of punk in the United Kingdom and the United States. The Punk Reader: Research Transmissions from the Local to the Global, edited by Russ Bestley, Mike Dines, Alastair ‘Gords’ Gordon and Paula Guerra , begins to crack that myth since, as described at the publisher’s website, this is indeed the first edited collection that looks at the influence of punk beyond the geographical constraints previously assigned to punk. Essays on this volume critically explore punk in essays covering the globe including Spain, China, Malaysia, Portugal, Holland and Mexico. [...] A great compilation of material about the global punk scene and the international network that has appeared since the 1980s.'

José F. Blanco, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture

'This edited volume collects essays thematically tied to punk’s global influence outside the US and UK, which argue against the notion that global punk continues to model itself after Western definitions of punk. At its heart, the text explores seemingly disparate and international punk scenes to discuss concepts of authenticity, identity, and production, highlighting “the emergence of punk rock in both a contemporary and global sense” (p. 18). Content includes discussing punk scenes in countries not previously or extensively studied, such as Iran, Portugal, and Malaysia. Each chapter begins with the author’s abstract, keywords, and a brief biography. While a general audience can be included in its readership, the consistent use of scholarly terms makes this volume most favorable for graduate research or a professional audience in the areas of ethnomusicology and musicology. Of note are the detailed references provided at the end of each chapter, the copious footnotes, and the extensive index at the end of the book. Altogether, this scholarly collection effectively presents a cohesive look at a post-2000s global punk culture... Highly recommended.'

J. Jocson-Singh, CHOICE

'The Punk Reader is a collection of academic essays examining punk scene outside of the US and how the cross pollination of sound and ideals made available through the grassroots network of fanzines and touring helped them develop culturally. The examination of the scene in Groningen, Holland and their hunger for everything from Extreme Noise Terror to Dead Moon was an absorbing and refreshing read, as were the histories of scenes in Iran and Indonesia, too young to be infiltrated by scene politics.'

Tony Rettman, The Wire

'An insightful book. To understand what it is to be punk in the 21st century, one has to become comfortable with double vision, looking at global cultural exchange while digging into local contexts. A group of scholars who, by and large, also identify as punks, have gathered their research into a book that embraces this double vision. [...] Given the diversity of chapters and topics, it could prove a valuable reference for anyone looking for granular details on certain scenes. Within its 300-plus pages, insights from many of the authors and their subjects reveal punk to be a constellation of values and trends that arises from many uneasy histories. [...] The Punk Reader encourages prudence on the part of the reader when it comes to evaluating a scene and offers many instances where there are multiple sides to the subculture’s story.'

Layla Fassa, Hyperallergic
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