Underground or under ground: punk, death, and transcendence in an unreal world

Class Year


Access Type

Archival Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Media Studies Program

First Advisor

Hua Hsu

Second Advisor

Thomas Porcello


The truism that punk is dead reverberates throughout basements, record stores, and community centers across the world. What does this mean? Was punk ever alive? What does punk even mean in the first place? This thesis seeks to explore these questions and the ways in which punk–as an iconic iteration of “authentic identity” through cultural antagonism and opposition– has been increasingly challenged by the modern world, the modern technological field, and the corresponding shifting terms of popular cultural logic. It interrogates how self-described punks and deviants express this notion that “punk is dead,” mourn its mythological vitality, and seek to transcend to an imagined afterlife, as well as what these negotiations say about the cultural concerns and anxieties that loom over contemporary living under late capitalism.

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