Sunday, June 12, 2011

Is Self-marginalization the reality of political rebellion?

In seeking to better understand the political ideology of punk I will perform research into the historical record of music and published articles. Many theorists such as Daniel S. Traber and Simon Frith have placed an emphasis on style politics, often considered personal politics. Style politics and personal politics become the political ideology of Anarcho-politics. There is also emphasis on the ideas of self-marginalization of youth culture to explain the origins of punk. Traber, in his work L.A.’s “White Minority”: Punk and the Contradictions of Self-Marginalization” theorizes that Los Angeles punks in the beginning of the 1980s chose to live in the margins of society to rebel against their parents and the success of white mainstream society and middle class suburban culture, therefore developing into a “Sub-urban” self or “Other” which apes the disparities of city dwellers in slums and ghettos[1]. The development of a new “white minority” is merely for show and not a realistic lifestyle but instead a substitute for the creation of their own identity away from their parents. I plan to research beyond the limited theory of self-marginalization and grow these parameters to show, by logical deduction, that it is assumed that by marginalizing their selves punks participate through traditional political rejection or rebellion. Specifically, punks reluctantly participate in the political process by either not voting or not being politically active. For example, to be a rebel or a punk, someone may have broken the law in their youth, received a conviction, and then lost the right to participate in the voting process. A great deal of formal theory in political science has based itself on the economists core assumptions that individuals choose their actions in order to maximize some valued object, and minimize the costs expended in achieving this goal. Does this account for the popularity of punk culture? Answering this question becomes the most important of points, not to clarify why self-marginalization is popular but why do individuals take themselves out of society and maintain the air of criticism of the society they left to begin with.

[1] Daniel S. Traber L.A.’s “White Minority”: Punk and the Contradictions of Self-Marginalization”

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