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Straight Edge: Hardcore Punk, Clean Living Youth, and Social Change

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Straight edge is a clean-living youth movement that emerged from the punk rock subculture in the early 1980s. Its basic tenets promote a drug-free, tobacco-free, and sexually responsible lifestyle—tenets that, on the surface, seem counter to those typical of teenage rebellion. For many straight-edge kids, however, being clean and sober was (and still is) the ultimate expre ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published June 9th 2006 by Rutgers University Press
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Community Reviews

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Larry-bob Roberts
Interesting book by a straight-edge sociologist who studied the straight-edge scene, primarily in Denver, Colorado. I was familiar with the Dick Hebidge school of subcultural theory (aka Birmingham Unicersity's Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies.) However, Hanfler argues that the CCCS' focus on style shortchanges other forms of resistance. In the third chapter, he examines sXe as a social movement rather than as a style-based subculture. Haenfler draws parallels to the gay and lesbian move ...more
Sep 19, 2007 Xdarcyx rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: punks / analytical thinkers
a very in-depth look at social trends and group dynamics among youth movements, but particularly Straight Edge. This is an extremely nolegable presentation of research and study into the Straight Edge community and movement, its contradictions as well as the trends that differ among sex, age and race. It also examines collective identities versus personal identities and militant hardline attitudes versus much more liberal and "positive" attitudes. This book provides a very scholarly study into t ...more
Vince Darcangelo

This review originally appeared in the BOULDER WEEKLY

Generation X'd

By Vince Darcangelo

At the age of 15, Ross Haenfler had quit drinking before many of us had even started. "I came to the conclusion that the only way to really fit in with the popular crowd was to drink to excess," says Haenfler. "It just seemed like my friends, their mission was, 'How can we secure alcohol for the weekend? How can we get drunk in the most efficient way possible?' I just h
I thought this book was well written with a lot of insight into the straight edge scene. I feel that lifetime scene members as well as those who have never heard of the scene at all. The author is a straight-edger that was involved in the Denver scene and spent quite a few years interviewing and researching the scene and it's members. He touches on many important subjects; such as commercialization of subculture, hyper-masculinity, women in the scene and the many contradictions within the scene. ...more
Sebagai seseorang yang terlibat dalam scene straight edge generasi awal, Ross telah menyaksikan banyak perubahan dalam scene ini. Banyak hal yang ia lihat dan alami secara pribadi dituliskan dalam buku ini, mulai dari peristiwa mencuri minuman pada masa sekolah di Junior High school hingga akhirnya menemukan "kesejatian" saat meyaksikan show hardcore straightedge pertamanya pada masa senior high, hingga keterlibatan dirinya sebagai aktivis kampus yang membawanya bertemu dengan istrinya sekarang, ...more
I couldn't muster up the energy to finish reading this, actually -- probably because I never felt affinity for Straight Edge as a movement or a genre. In my formative years of punkness the straight edge bands Minor Threat, 7Seconds, and SSD were some of the bands I loved the most, and I got a great amount of inspiration from these punks who, like myself, eschewed drinking, drugs and smoking, not only as a health choice but as a lifestyle. Still, I never considered myself Straight Edge with a cap ...more
There was some interesting information about the hardcore scene in the early '80's and the initial coining of the term 'straight edge' by Ian Mackeye. I lost interest after the interviews of different edge kids though, confirming my unabashed hatred for almost every other straight-edger that I have come into contact with. A group of close-minded morons that have to set up ridiculous lists of constraints in order to make their social click more exclusive. The term and state of mind goes no farthe ...more
Andrew Bellemer
It's cool to see a scholarly work about straightedge written by someone who has been intimately associate with the scene. Unfortunately, I didn't find that the auto-ethnography approach provided much compelling insight. At times, the author comes across as an apologist for some of the contradictions and problems inherent in the scene, without providing enough critique and/or analysis of those problems.
Dan Bob
Introspection not ranking highest on my list of activities, this book really helped me realize the forces that have shaped my life and my values. If you don't know anything about straightedge, this book would probably be not so good (unless you're into sociology or something). But me being Straight Edge, this book speaks directly to my life. if you're not now you never were and all that.
Frankie OK
Oct 04, 2007 Frankie OK rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Hardcore kids and Music lovers
Finally, an interesting, educational, and all around entertaining book about a relevant movement in today's society. I picked it up at last years American Sociological Association conference and read it immediately afterwards. Haenfler delivers an honest, true presentation of both yesterday's and today's hardcore/straigh edge scenes. I loved it.
Written by a straight-edger who was too involved in the politics of the scene to present an un-biased viewpoint. He couldn't seem to stop telling me about cat fights he broke up at shows. I now dislike straight edge kids more than ever.
this book is terrible to the point of unreadability. I stubbornly trudged through every terrible page of Evasion and I couldn't get past page 20 of this.
Worth reading just because it is the only scholarly sociological study involving punk/hc written by a participant. It's a quick read too.
Lolz... yeah i once was, and it was a good book...
Awesome book.
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