Sunday, June 12, 2011

Punk Ideology: Rational Choice assumption and the Struggle against Fear.

Individuals choose to be punks because they can maximize a certain sense of belonging and identity through a constant struggle against fear of social repercussions[1]. This constant struggle becomes a movement that serves to refute social attitudes that normally are perpetuated through willful ignorance of human nature[2]. In the late 1970s, punk initially had been very do-it-your-self (D.I.Y.) with a strong ethic of self-empowerment and independence from authority[3]. For example: Anarcho-punk, a system of classifying identity politics, is based on the argument that style is an essential ingredient of this movement embracing a wide diversity of approaches in both format and ideas. Anarcho-punk itself was produced by fans of punk, for fans of punk, removing it from the marketing mechanisms of big music corporations. An anti-consumerist ideology is pervasive in all aspects of D.I.Y culture certifying it as a true independence from authority. In Pedagogy of the Pissed: Punk Pedagogy in the First-Year Writing Classroom, Seth Kahn-Egan identified five main tenants of punk-ideology: The D.I.Y. ethic, a sense of anger and passion, a sense of destructiveness that calls for the attack of institutions which are oppressive or dislikeable, a willingness to endure or even pursue pain to make their art, and a pursuit of the “pleasure principle”, a reveling in some kind of Nietzchean chasm[4].   From this basis a definition of punk ideology has its foundation.
It is easy to assume that the rational choice to subscribe to punk ideology in an effort to avoid the fear of retaliation against social repercussions through anarcho-punk is the main reason individuals become punks, but this brings us to what they do as punks. How does punk ideology affect the political process?

[1] Greg Graffin A Punk Manifesto Bad Times 12/98
[2] Idb.
[3] Riot Grrrl: Revolution from within Jessica Rosenberg; Gitana Garofalo
[4] Interchanges Punk Comp and Beyond Pedagogy of the Pissed: Punk Pedagogy in the First-Year classroom
Seth Kahn-Egan

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