Punk Rock and Disability: Cripping Subculture

McKay, George ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7770-0502 (2015) Punk Rock and Disability: Cripping Subculture. In: Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies. Oxford Handbooks . Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 226-245. ISBN 9780199331444

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This essay is focused on (post)subculture and disability, and specifically on the popular musical subculture of punk rock. It considers the extent to which punk rock in the 1970s and after opened up a space in music for disabled performers and audience members. There are two main areas of discussion. First, questions of subculture and counterculture are explored, in terms of both cultural studies theory and of disability. Second is a focus on the original British punk scene of the late 1970s and three major artists, varyingly disabled, from it. These are Ian Dury, Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, and Ian Curtis of Joy Division. It aim to extend our understanding both of punk itself and of subcultural theory, adding to ideas around post-subculture by cripping it (see McRuer 2006), that is, by identifying the sounds and styles and bodies of the disabled, who are the neglected already-present of punk, and whose presence disrupts subculture theory, even while such theory exists in large part to understand the disruptive potential of gesture, music, youth, fashion, attitude, and modes of walking and talking. Here I concur with, and seek to develop, the observation by David Church that “disability has been one of the most foundational—and yet, one of the least explored—representational tropes of the punk milieu” (2013, 28). The essay contains two main areas: an initial discussion of subculture and counterculture, in terms of theory and of disability; and a focus on the original British punk scene of the late 1970s and three major artists, varyingly disabled, from it. It concludes with a view of punk’s “cultural legacy” (Sabin 1999) in the disability arts movement.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: disability,punk rock,ian dury,johnny rotten,ian curtis,polio,epilepsy,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies (former - to 2024)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2016 16:00
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2024 15:31
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59340


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