Punks in Great Britain

Essay, 2009

5 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Punks in Great Britain


The increase of the unemployment rates and at the same time small public social security benefits and constantly high inflation aggravated the social gap/ differences. Great Britain suffered from recession and big numbers of graduates were threatened by unemployment.

Great Britain’s youth had absolutely no possibility/opportunity to develop freely. Most kids were fed up with the mostly unrealizable promises of the British government. Due to the dark prospects they only saw a meaningless future for themselves.

That’s why, a new youth movement, the punk, developed in Great Britain in the middle of the 70ties. Most of its followers came from socially underprivileged classes, but later on also youth coming from the middle class joined. Lyrics like “No future” were by no means only key words of the punks, but also characterized the actual situation in Great Britain.

But what does is it mean to be a member of the subculture punk? What did they do and what was their particular concern? And why do so many people think that Punk is dead after just two years?

Main Part

Punks saw themselves as being segregated/excluded by society. They did not believe in idols and leaders, and they wanted to draw attention to social grievances by means of their styling. Everything served to provoke: Paraphernalia coming from the sado-maso-domain( studded belts and chains), even openly shown swastikas were an accepted device of provocation (Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols wore a swastika on his T-Shirt or scratched it in his chest during his gigs). This had no political causes, but was simply meant to provoke. Punk did not have much to do with politics, politics was “crap”. Politically the Punks aimed at anarchy (the destruction of the system).

The British music scene was dominated by super groups of the late 70ties (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis). Those produced pompous rock with a huge amount of production fees as well as huge profits. Yet those groups were miles away from the audience, they lives in a world in which the fans no longer played an important role.

Now the music developed which is closely related to the development of punk. This kind of music expresses the socially destructive climate without compromises. It was raw, brutal, hard, full of aggressiveness, in short was very outspoken. Music skills were not in demand, the inner feeling was much more important. The singers shouted their emotions and feelings relentlessly. All centered around Do-it-yourself: everybody can take an instrument and play without having any basic musical knowledge. The bands mostly consisted of e-bass, singer, bass and drums. The same could be applied to the fan magazines, made with the simplest means, which were independent and not related to the music industry. They contributed a lot to the divulgence of punk, and reported on concerts and bands.


Excerpt out of 5 pages


Punks in Great Britain
University of Cologne  (Institut für Englische Sprache und ihre Didaktik)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
397 KB
Punks not dead, Great Britain, Subculture, Sex Pistols
Quote paper
Maike Jaeger (Author), 2009, Punks in Great Britain, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/142314


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