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Oi! Oi! Oi! : class locality and British punk

Worley, M. ORCID: (2013) Oi! Oi! Oi! : class locality and British punk. Twentieth Century British History, 24 (4). pp. 606-636. ISSN 1477-4674

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/tcbh/hwt001


This article looks at the controversial music genre Oi! in relation to youth cultural identity in late 1970s’ and early 1980s’ Britain. As a form of British punk associated with skinheads, Oi! has oft-been dismissed as racist and bound up in the politics of the far right. It is argued here, however, that such a reading is too simplistic and ignores the more complex politics contained both within Oi! and the various youth cultural currents that revolved around the term ‘punk’ at this time. Taking as its starting point the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies’ conception of youth culture as a site of potential ‘resistance’, the article explores the substance and motifs of Oi!’s protest to locate its actual and perceived meaning within a far wider political and socio-economic context. More broadly, it seeks to demonstrate the value of historians examining youth culture as a formative and contested socio-cultural space within which young people discover, comprehend, and express their desires, opinions, and disaffections.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:35569
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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