The importance of counter-culture in art and life




Ortlieb, Paulina Elizabeth

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Punk rock provided not only a watershed of creativity, innovation and a do-it-yourself spirit to a culture saturated in the mainstream, it physically brought like-minded people together in a community, or rather extended family, which in today’s hyper-d.i.y. culture, is progressively declining. As early as the 1940s, theorists such as Adorno and Horkheimer warned us about alienation in a society increasingly dependent on technology. By looking to punk, and other resilient and robust counter-cultures, perhaps we can find solutions to the pitfalls of the ‘culture industry’ (Adorno, Horkheimer, 1944). My thesis, consisting of a feature-length documentary film and textual analysis, is a culmination of: ethnographic research into the punk scene in my own community; theoretical research into the sociology, ethnography and subculture theory; and my own subjectivity. My personal findings are presented to offer insight into punk philosophy and to spur discourse, rather than deliver an objective account or didactic reproach.



sub-culture, music, punk rock, counter-culture, digital age, sociology, Victoria BC, local, ethnography, documentary, filmmaking, film studies, music sociology, D.I.Y, musicology, grounded theory, etic, emic, qualitative research, Frankfurt school, subculture theory, Adorno, Horkheimer, egalitarian, democracy, culture, alienation, community, hardcore, globalism, internet, mass culture, self-identity, participant observation, culture industry, consumerism, corporatism, Vancouver Island, fieldwork, World Wide Web, freedom of expression, rebellion, technology, constructivist, subversion, CCCS, Chicago School, nomeansno, embodied, oral history, Somewhere to Go