Just Typical Girls? An Exploration of Older Women’s Construction and Maintenance of Punk Identities.
thesisposted on 18.11.2019, 16:00 by Laura A. Way
This thesis examines the construction and maintenance of punk identities by ageing, or older, (punk) women. Recent scholarship on post-youth subcultural involvement demonstrates some evidence of exploring the interplay between age, gender and subculture yet still lacks any research which solely focuses on the experiences of older punk women. Historically, women have been marginalised in subcultural scholarship and this has been more so the case for ageing, or older, women. In line with the feminist research values, this thesis therefore gives voice to a previously marginalised sample.
The research utilised a methodology informed by a feminist and inductive approach. Data was analysed from 16 semi-structured interviews (one paired) and 5 e-mail interviews. A set of common punk values were raised by the research participants which in turn informed, not determined, their relationship with dress, music and gigs. These punk values were also important for how the women negotiated punk identities as they aged. A career model is proposed for understanding how ageing women construct and maintain punk identities. This demonstrates the emergence of three main identity categories across the research sample: the ‘toner downs’, the ‘consistent punks’ and the ‘never massively outrageous’. Reflecting on punk in their lives ‘then’ and ‘now’, the women demonstrated tensions between agency/structure with gender and social ageing highlighted as potential constraints on their construction and maintenance of punk identities.