Monday, October 7, 2019

Punk Rock: exploring extremism and politics within subculture

I'm in the early stages of writing my bachelor thesis in psychology. This is what they call the home straight, the final stretch, as it were. It's been five years of full-time study, part-time/sometimes full-time work, dropping off and picking up from nursery/school, and playing gigs and recording records. I'm still working on that fucking book, too. Actually, I'm not really working on it anymore, my part is done, I'm waiting to see what's going to happen with it, more like.

Anyway, what I'm slowly getting around to is this. These last five years of studying have been a great journey, one I never thought I would take when I was stuck working in a warehouse in Corby twenty-two years ago, dreaming of full-time touring with a band. I was convinced then that I'd never go back to education, such had the misery of senior school been. So to have ended up studying a degree in behavioural science in a second language, in another land, really feels quite remarkably absurd. I've loved almost every second of it, though. Funny how much "easier" studying is, when you're "genuinely" interested. I've always been pretty good at relating the reading material and applying the theories I've studied to my own background and areas of interest. Looking back over some of the papers I've written, I thought about how some of the things I've worked on might be of interest to those who read or share an interest in the stuff I write on this forum, Punk Rock and Coffee.

The main intention with this site has been to share accounts of life in a band on the road, both current and previous. But looking back over it, I appreciate that it's also a kind of chronicle of my life and my perceptions of it. Always with a fair hint of mischief, of course. As touring has become less frequent, as life becomes more hectic, the amount of tour diaries aren't of the same quantity they once were. So I thought that in the abscence of that, I would share a couple of articles/papers I've written over the last five years. This main piece was a long essay I wrote as the final exam piece of my A-level course in social sciences at community college here in Stockholm. The module was titled "A history of racism" and we were given free reign to write about anything within that context. I chose to write about punk rock and look at aspects of extremism within it, especially those within the nazi punk scene. I wanted to try to make an understanding of how young people can fall into such an ideology within a subculture that is renowned for being predominantly left-wing. This was written almost three years ago, and is far too long to share on this platform, but for anyone who is interested you can read it right via the link at the bottom. The primary source of the material came from an interview I did with a former member of the nazi punk movement in Sweden. I may write an article based purely on that interview here in the future. The writing is fairly meandering at times (go figure), but I was pleased with the overall results.

You can read it here, translated to English from the original Swedish text, if you so wish:

Punk Rock: exploring extremism and politics within subculture

Next up will be some more tour diaries, from an actual "tour" that is longer than three days. We'll be heading out with Victims, with Svalbard from the UK in support, around Europe at the end of October. Really looking forward to it, even if I am going to have to work on my bachelor thesis on the road. A little, anyway. But then, it's not like we're still paryting like it's 2009.