They Can Stuff Their Punk Credentials ‘Cause it’s them That Take the Cash’: 1980s Anarcho-Punk Ethics from Below




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


London: Autonomedia


Book chapter

Peer reviewed



This chapter outlines the major components of punk ethics. It explores in detail what is involved in the production of an ethics from a UK DiY perspective. In doing so attention is drawn to the divisions within and between punk scenes, though in developing this focus I do not mean to rule out the question of international influences – what Ulf Hannerz (2003) calls ‘transnational connections’ – or the impact of large-scale social and political events. Nor do I wish to suggest that the methods espoused by punk bands such as Crass and hardcore punk elements provide the sole model for punk or present the only authentic punk way to proceed. There is no such model, and no one, true, absolute way. The existence of scene divisions and dualisms attest to this. Punk generates a conflictual, reflexive and relatively internal dynamic with regard to what it actually is, how it is conducted, how it is authentic and how it conducts and presents its ethical discourse. Through its intersection of music and political practice, DiY punk discourse employs a definite rhetorical strategy involving competing claims specific to the identity and values of any particular subcultural variant. It is on the basis of these claims that the main tenets and principles that collectively add up to something approximating to an ethics of punk can be outlined.


Chapter in forthcoming book on anarcho punk


Punk studies, ethics, ethnography, DiY, Cultural Studies, Grounded theory


Gordon, A. (2016) They Can Stuff Their Punk Credentials ‘Cause it’s them That Take the Cash’: 1980s Anarcho-Punk Ethics from Below. In: Dines, M. Worley, M. (Eds), The Aesthetic of our Anger: Anarcho-Punk from 1980-1984. London: Autonomedia.


Research Institute

Media and Communication Research Centre (MCRC)