15 June 2021

The DIY ethic (do it yourself ethic) refers to the ethic of being self-reliant by completing tasks oneself instead of having others who are likely more experienced complete them. The term can indicate “doing” anything from home improvements and repairs to healthcare, from publications to electronics.

DIY questions the supposed uniqueness of the expert’s skills and promotes the ability of the ordinary person to learn to do more than they thought was possible. In the punk subculture, the DIY ethic is tied to punk ideology and anti-consumerism, rejecting the need to purchase items or use existing systems or processes. Emerging punk bands often perform basement shows in residential homes rather than traditional venues to avoid corporate sponsorship. The DIY punk ethic also applies to everyday living, such as learning bicycle repair rather than taking a bike to a mechanic’s shop, sewing/repairing/modifying clothing rather than buying new clothes, starting vegetable gardens, and reclaiming recyclable products by dumpster diving. Punk impresario David Ferguson’s CD Presents was a DIY concert production, recording studio and record label network (What is DIY?, 2009)