Networks of sound, style and subversion

The punk and post-punk worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield, 1975-80

By Nick Crossley

Networks of sound, style and subversion


  • Paperback
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8864-3
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: February 2015
  • BIC Category: Music reviews & criticism, MUSIC / History & Criticism, The arts / Punk, New Wave & Indie, Punk & New Wave, Popular music
  • Series: Music and Society


This book examines the birth of punk in the UK and its transformation, within a short period of time, into post-punk. Deploying innovative concepts of 'critical mass', 'social networks' and 'music worlds', and using sophisticated techniques of 'social network analysis', it teases out the events and mechanisms involved in punk's 'micro-mobilisation', its diffusion across the UK and its transformation in certain city-based strongholds into a variety of interlocking post-punk forms. Nick Crossley offers a detailed review of prior work in this area, a rich exploration of new empirical data and a highly innovative and robust approach to the study of 'music worlds'.

Written in an accessible style, this book is essential reading for anybody with an interest in either UK punk and post-punk or the impact of social networks on cultural life and the potential of social network analysis to explore this impact.


In sum, Networks of Sound, Style and Subversion can be appreciated on a number of different levels: as a case study of micro-mobilisation, as a demonstration of the explanatory powers of social network analysis, and as an account of 1970s punk and post-punk that breathes new life into a well worn subject.

'This book should appeal ultimately not just to scholars of punk or post-punk, but also to anyone interested in the process through which musical styles emerge.'
Brian F. Wright, Fairmont State University, Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, June 2016

'This is the most recent contribution to punk scholarship and in many ways one of the most sophisticated, both in terms of empirical research and data analysis.'
WILKINSON, D., WORLEY, M. and STREET, J. (2016) '"I Wanna See Some History": Recent Writing on British Punk', Contemporary European History, pp. 1-15


1. Introduction
2. Music worlds
3. Explaining punk: a review of existing accounts
4. Theorising micro-mobilisation: critical mass, collective effervescence, social networks and social space
5. Micro-mobilisation and the network structure of the London punk world
6. The evolution of the London network
7. Punk goes national: broadcast networks, media and moral panic
8. From Punk to post-punk: a tale of three cities
9. Joining the dots: post-punk worlds as networks
10. The small world of British post-punk
11. Conclusion


Nick Crossley is Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester

Networks of sound, style and subversion

By Nick Crossley

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

Paperback £17.99 / $26.95

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