Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jonathan Petropoulos

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This thesis explores the impact that rock music had on the downfall of communist regimes in Central & Eastern Europe. The impact that rock music had socially and politically is analyzed through case studies of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), Czechoslovakia, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The case studies attempt to give a complete understanding of rock music’s interaction with the states from the beginning of rock music as an established genre to the collapse of these communist governments. In establishing these histories, the thesis explores how rock music’s effect insofar as the collapse of these communist regimes are concerned was multi-faceted. The histories of rock music’s interaction with the state are not only different, but the depth of material that exists in each context differs immensely. Nevertheless, important conclusions can be gathered in this case study of which this thesis concludes with three major points: Rock music served as a point of comparison between East & West, the repression of rock music instigated dissent, and rock music as performed in a domestic context was politicized against the state

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.