Abstract

The history of punk rock has become a popular topic for historians, musicologists, journalists, and other social observers. In addition, those connected with punk music and culture have also been active in crafting their own history. How the history of punk is being created and who is best able to do this is contested terrain. This essay explores the role of oral-history publications created within punk culture, and their role in the creation of the collective memory in punk rock. It analyzes the format, motivations, and origination of a series of oral-history books on punk rock. It argues that a standard format has emerged for oral-history punk books that resulted from within the culture of punk, or, from its “cultural toolkit,” in the words of social theorist James Wertsch. The essay also examines how oral histories are becoming public and are being used to create collective memory within these communities. The essay explains how oral history is being used to not only fashion collective memory, but also how it is being transmitted and diffused. It argues that punk culture encourages people involved in punk to create their own history, and to privilege the oral-history format analyzed in this essay over other historical formats.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 59-77
Launched on MUSE
2013-08-19
Open Access
No
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