Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“Rise above/We're gonna rise above”: A qualitative inquiry into the use of hardcore punk culture as context for the development of preferred identities
by Mageary, Joe, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2012, 271; 3508086
Abstract (Summary)

Since the early 1980s, hardcore punk has been a lifestyle in addition to a genre of music. Participation in this lifestyle often co-occurs with the major developmental stages associated with identity development. This raises the question of whether hardcore punk has an impact on identity development and, if so, how.

This study examines DIY hardcore punk culture, supporting the possibility that it can provide participants with an opportunity for preferred identity development. Through a basic qualitative analysis of interviews, song lyrics and punk zines, this study reveals three overarching components integral to the transformative components of this experience. While not necessarily generalizeable to hardcore punk culture as a whole, these themes are: the presence of a reification of punk values; political and social critique; and authentic interpersonal experiences (A.I.E.).

This study adds nuance and complexity to the understanding of hardcore punk culture and sheds light on the maturation process of the individuals who continue to identify with the culture well past the traditional stage of “aging out”, challenging the common belief that punk is just a phase teenagers go through. This analysis may be useful in the scholarly analysis of popular culture, the study of identity formation, and to participants in punk culture who struggle to understand their experiences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wells, Jennifer
Commitee: Jones, Constance A., Warner, Brad
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Psychology, Sociology
Keywords: Developmental psychology, Do-it-yourself values, Hardcore punk, Popular music subcultures, Preferred identity
Publication Number: 3508086
ISBN: 978-1-267-33636-1
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