Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Alex Cummings

Second Advisor

John McMillian

Third Advisor

Denis Gainty

Fourth Advisor

Montgomery Wolf


This dissertation explores the connections between US foreign policy initiatives, the global expansion of the American recording industry, and the rise of punk in the 1970s and 1980s. The material support of the US government contributed to the globalization of the recording industry and functioned as a facet American-style consumerism. As American culture spread, so did questions about the Cold War and consumerism. As young people began to question the Cold War order they still consumed American mass culture as a way of rebelling against the establishment. But corporations complicit in the Cold War produced this mass culture. Punks embraced cultural rebellion like hippies. But they more stridently rejected the culture industries which they viewed as producing inauthentic culture purely for profit. Punk sought to create more authentic music, which they did through a network of independent record labels and punk zines. Punks shared this core idea across borders in translocal communities—where the action was localized, with an authentic punk identity shared and refined across national borders through the sharing of music and writing punk zines. In doing so, punks shaped the recording industry and anticipated modern peer-to-peer networks that typifies the distribution of music today.