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Punks and Skins United: Identity, Class and the Economics of an Eastern German Subculture

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Volume 5

Anthropology of Europe

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Punks and Skins United

Identity, Class and the Economics of an Eastern German Subculture

Aimar Ventsel

226 pages, 15 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-860-3 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (August 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-861-0 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“[This book] is really interesting, provides fascinating insights and presents questions for the scholarship and future study.” • Matthew Worley, University of Reading


Germany has one of the liveliest and well-developed punk scenes in the world. However, punk in this country is not just a style-based music community. This book provides an anthropological examination of how punk reflects the larger changes and contradictions in post-reunification Germany, such as social segmentation, east-west tensions and local politics. Punk in eastern Germany is a reaction to the marginalization of the working class. As a cultural, social and economic niche, punks create their own controversial “substitute society” to compensate for their low status in mainstream society.

Aimar Ventsel is a Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Ethnology in University of Tartu, Estonia. He was a founding member of the Siberia Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. From 2009 to 2013 he participated as a Research Associate of the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, in the project “Post-Socialist Punk: Beyond the double irony of self-abasement” where he conducted fieldwork in eastern Germany on punk and skinhead subculture.

Subject: Anthropology (General) Sociology Cultural Studies (General) Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Germany


List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. Transformation of East Germany: Wende and Socio-economic Framework for the Ossi-identity
Chapter 2. Punk Rock – Living Music
Chapter 3. Ostpunk – Arbeitslos und stolz! (Unemployed and proud!)
Chapter 4. One Law For Them, Another Law For Us: Punk Rock Moral Economy
Chapter 5. Tolerated Illegality
Chapter 6. Gender in Punk Rock
Chapter 7. Punk Rock Territory – Construction of Enemies



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