chapter  2
28 Pages

‘Minor Threat’

An overview of punk and Straight Edge

This chapter provides an overview of punk, with the emphasis being placed upon the birth of Straight Edge. Such an overview and emphasis will focus on social construction and personal performativity of identity. Punk archivists and contributors Colegrave and Sullivan define punk in the following way: Punk was always more than a T-shirt or a piece of loud music: it was an irrepressible attitude. Rebellion by its very nature always entails an 'other', something or someone to react to, rebel against and define oneself as different from. Punk is typified by a dichotomy that cannot be resolved. On the one hand, it is a male-dominated, aggressive form of musical and aesthetic expression that speaks of 'brotherhood' while simultaneously utilising and being subjected to violence; it is by no means feminine. Straight Edge challenged the notions of individualism and self-ownership that inspired punks to claim possession of their bodies through drug abuse and self-mutilation.