Networks of Sound, Style, and Subversion
The Punk and Post-Punk Worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool, and Sheffield, 1975-80
Manchester University Press 2015
Can sociology explain punk? In a new book, Networks of Sound, Style, and Subversion: The Punk and Post-Punk Worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool, and Sheffield, 1975-80 (Manchester University Press, 2015), Nick Crossley from the University of Manchester offers an important new perspective on the birth of punk and post-punk in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield in the mid to late 1970s. Crossley uses social network analysis (SNA) to show why punk developed in specific places in specific ways. This is in contrast to existing work that seeks to ground punk in the strains of adolescent life in the crisis ridden 1970s, or in the actions of specific individuals. The book seeks to account for punk and post-punk in the four cities as a series of musical worlds, all of which have similarities shown by the SNA. Indeed, by concentrating on the networks that facilitated the rise of punk, the book shows how punk can be explained through networks of connected and sometimes competing sets of enthusiasts, before it became a subject of national moral panic. Combining readable examples of SNA with the story of punk, the book will be of interest to a popular, as well as academic, audience. Prof Crossley will be discussing some of his work that has followed the publication of the book, along with a range of papers on music and networks in Manchester on June 16th-18th 2015.