Green Day’s Jesus of Suburbia: (de)constructing identities in the land of make believe

Sónia Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



In 2004, when Green Day released their album American Idiot, the long-term effects of 9/11 were still unfolding across America and the world at large. With the prevailing discourse of the war on terror serving the purposes of implementing a culture of fear and constraining the possibilities of voices of dissent being heard, the main musical response, as far as mainstream genres are concerned, was unsurprisingly one of deference, much more so than critique. Green Day, however, summoned up the conception of punk rock as a genre that has always privileged rebellious and confrontational stances and recorded an album conceived as a rock-opera that chronicles the life and times of a disaffected youth in post-9/11 America through the ventures of a protagonist named Jesus of Suburbia. Through a close reading of the song “Jesus of Suburbia”, and tackling such concepts as Bauman’s postmodern wanderer, Augé’s non-places of supermodernity and Soja’s postmetropolis, this paper analyses how the narrative of American Idiot depicts life in the contemporary cityspace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Green Day
  • 9/11
  • Punk rock
  • Genre
  • Identity
  • Suburbia


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