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Popular Music in Communist and Post-Communist Europe

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Edited By Jan Blüml, Yvetta Kajanová and Rüdiger Ritter

Through selected topics, the book presents an up-to-date and comprehensive view of the popular music of communist and post-communist Europe. The studies introduce new sources, discuss transformations of the institutional background of popular music of the given geopolitical sphere, its social, cultural-political, or artistic conditions. Thanks to the time span of nearly thirty years since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the authors have in many ways revised or supplemented traditional post-communist perceptions of the issues in question. This is being done with respect to the genres such as jazz, rock, pop, singer-songwriters, hip-hop, or White Power Music, as well as across the whole region from the former Yugoslavia through Central European states to the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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The Role and Importance of White Power Music in Shaping the Far Right in the Czech Republic

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Abstract: The phenomenon of the far right began spreading in post-communist countries, including Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, after 1989. In this period, right-wing extremist ideology was often associated with subcultural groups, which formed a major part of the far right. So-called ‘White Power Music’ (WPM) was the key element that connected the different groups of the skinhead subculture. Bands formed opinions and helped disseminate the right-wing extremist message. In my paper, I study this phenomenon specifically by means of content analysis. I would like to demonstrate how the different topics changed their presence within WPM over the past 20 years and what these changes can tell us about the development of the Czech far right.

Keywords: white power music; skinhead; extreme right-wing; racism; anti-Semitism

Most authors dealing with the topic agree that White Power Music (WPM) serves as one of the most effective means of recruitment into the far-right environment.2 It comes, therefore, as a surprise that social sciences have paid rather sporadic attention to the issue of WPM and its relevance to neo-Nazi or, more generally, racist (white supremacist) groups and organizations, and only recently have a few major publications on the topic emerged.3

It is therefore difficult to define what exactly WPM is supposed to represent. In an effort to differentiate WPM from other music genres, Nancy Love mentions two key elements that are typical of WPM: ‘[…] I argue that two features distinguish white power music from many...

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