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Ethics and practices in American DIY spaces

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The history of punk and its subgenres is, in part, a history of DIY spaces and the influences these spaces have on punk and the DIY scene at large. A better understanding of the ethical guidelines of DIY venue organizers would provide insight into the practices of these venues by providing a glimpse into the motivating factors behind these actions. To approach these issues, this article utilizes existing research to examine current DIY practices and their relation to punk culture, as well as defining the primary ethical guidelines in the DIY scene, followed by new research into these issues. In this study, I spoke with eleven different organizers of long running DIY spaces around the United States. These interviews revealed an overwhelming drive to construct DIY venues as inclusive spaces that provide resources for a variety of communities. In practice, however, the heightened sense of alignment between organizations and artists reported by the participants alludes to a lack of diversity amongst the viewpoints of those within these communities.

Keywords: American DIY; DIY spaces; alignment; current practice; ethics; punk community

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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  • Punk & Post-Punk is a journal for academics, artists, journalists and the wider cultural industries. Placing punk and its progeny at the heart of inter-disciplinary investigation, it is the first forum of its kind to explore this rich and influential topic in both historical and critical theoretical terms.
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