‘What Do I Get?’ Punk Objects as Meaningful and Valuable Souvenirs

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Kok Leong Yuen
Paolo Mura

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Contemporary Asian Artistic Expressions and Tourism

Publication Date



Despite social scientists’ increasing interest on souvenirs in tourism, little has been written on the role and meanings of souvenirs within specific subcultures, such as punk subcultures. This chapter focuses on the exploration of punk objects as potential souvenirs in relation to “punk tourism” by investigating the meanings attached to subcultural artefacts as opposed to mass produced products. As part of an ethnographic fieldwork on punk tourism that the two authors have been conducting in Malaysia since 2016, in this chapter we focus on the role and meanings of punk souvenirs within the Malaysian punk scene. As the empirical material presented in this chapter shows, a DIY produced punk product has the advantage of channelling more than one value. While the value of souvenirs lies in their propensity to act as “mnemonic devices” related to a place visited, subcultural products like those produced by punks have the potential to fulfil additional values. In an age where authenticity and claims of appropriation of culture are placed under scrutiny, a punk object holds the potential of being a meaningful and valuable souvenir.




Springer Singapore

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access