Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Second Department


First Advisor

Robert Hislope

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Witsoe




punk, women, political, rock


This thesis, entitled “The Role of Women in Punk,” is an interdisciplinary thesis of the Political Science and Anthropology Department of Union College. To come to the conclusions of this thesis, I read a variety academic papers and research; numerous books on theory, punk, and feminism; and performed fieldwork at punk concerts and original punk venues of the 1970’s in Albany and New York City. I combined my own findings from my fieldwork with the historical and theoretical analysis of other academics and writers. Through the combination of political/anthropological theory, historical analysis, and my independent fieldwork, I was able to conclude that women can use punk as a political tool to promote feminism in their own realm. Women worldwide have effectively used punk to develop a place in the rock world that they feel comfortable in. This was effectively done in the 1990’s through the Riot Grrrl Movement in the United States, which greatly contributed in the development of a place in America’s rock culture that women and girls felt comfortable participating in. This has more recently been utilized in Russia, primarily after the arrest of three women from the band Pussy Riot!, which was followed by an upswing of national and international support. This setting has given them an area to discuss political feminist issues, and has given women a voice. This thesis was done under the direction of Professor Robert Hislope of the Political Science Department and Professor Jeffrey Witsoe of the Anthropology Department.