Authors: PAULA GUERRA and Pedro Menezes (2021)


The intent to analyze the similarities and differences between Brazil and Portugal, in relation to their contemporary punk scenes, is based on the sociological assumption that we can use the reflexive knowledge of social actors as raw material, scrutinized to understand and apprehend the dichotomy between what is replication and what is innovation. Paying attention to the different focuses of the scene is essential for this analysis, highlighting the evolutions and multiplicities of perspectives within it, be it on the aesthetic, artistic/musical and experiential aspects or on the combination of the three – for we start from the postulate that, as culture, scene, aesthetics and musical form: punk is subversion and shattering. It is everything and nothing: it is a cosmos of possibilities. This chapter is based on the sociological principle that the reflective knowledge of social actors is the basic raw material for scientific reconstruction, in a fruitful dialogue between mimesis and poiesis – undoubtedly contributing to the advance of social theory. This approach is all the more relevant as its empirical basis of anchoring is situated on the analysis and exploration of the punk discourses of Portugal and Brazil, that are present in five documentaries that focus on the accessibility of the discourses to the participants themselves. It seems to us that this approach is of central importance to the interpretation of the emerging youth cultures in the aftermath of the Second World War, especially regarding the reconfiguration of the life paths of young people and their (sub)cultural immersion as decisive forces for the acquisition of specific (sub)cultural capital (skills, competencies, knowledge and networks) – fundamental to the transition to adulthood and for coping with the risks and crises of the contemporary societies – notably outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere. Based on a reflexive methodology, three specific objectives are carried out: to problematize the complex relations between the do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos, aesthetics and praxis and the establishment of punk and its (sub)scenes in societies outside of the gravitational axis of Anglo-Saxon hegemony; to identify the set of activities in the punk spectrum that constitute an ethos and a praxis of authenticity; and finally to elucidate, in Weberian terms, the various contradictory meanings that the actors attribute to punk and their respective experiences in terms of style and ideology.

GUERRA, Paula & MENEZES, Pedro (2021). So far, so close: Contemporary faces of Portugese and Brazilian punk scenes. In: BESTLEY, Russ; DINES, Mike; GUERRA, Paula & GORDON, Alastair (Eds.). Trans-Global Punk Scenes. The Punk Reader Volume 2. Fishponds, Bristol: Intellect Books. URL:


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