The uninitiated do not realize the complexity of the punk rock sub-culture. Outsiders may find it hard to distinguish the subtle lines by which differentiation occurs within the so-called subculture. The "punk rock subculture" is a misnomer; it is not a salient community. The experience of being "punk" is fractal; what it means to be punk and what classifies one as punk is in constant redefinition and there are various different communities with varying ideologies and identities. The punk subculture has absorbed various epistemologies in its 40+ years of existence, modified them, and made them their own. Within this milieu of experience there is a segment of the punk rock population that takes the anti-authoritarian, do-it-yourself ethos of the subculture to its logical conclusion: they drop out of society and "hit the streets" relying upon their wits, the good nature of strangers, and a vast interconnected support network of peers for their survival. There is very little documentation of the lives of this unique population and due to the precarious circumstance that they live in (i.e., the far margins of society), the risk of losing their history is a real threat. To understand why these punks became transient, one must ask them about their life history, ideological beliefs, views on life, family history, and personal experiences within the community (i.e., their story). My unit of analysis is the transient punk community. I have created a qualitative analysis of this community by collecting oral narratives of self identifying transients via participant observation. Data was collected by utilizing informal interviews and by snowball sampling.


Wayne E. Allen

Committee Member

Kebba Darboe

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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