This project examines the use of protest songs as a mechanism of developing class consciousness. Our particular interest in this body of creative work lies in wider sociological debates around the continuing relevance and representations of social class. Our project seeks to document how protest songs deal with the “hidden injuries of class” that characterise contemporary society (Coulter 2005:6). Ultimately, the project seeks to examine whether protest songs present a counter narrative which critically examines the hegemonic neo-liberal view of contemporary social and political issues, and social class inequality in particular. 

This qualitative research approach engages with artist specific recordings and iconography and enacts a purposive selection strategy in order to convene and run focus groups with fans of the recording artist of interest. In addition, in-depth qualitative interviews will be conducted with recording artists and key individuals involved in the production of the relevant protest songs.

This project is part of the Populism, Politics, and Exclusion theme. It is led by both Dr Martin J Power and Dr Aileen Dillane, who can be contacted at or