oru.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
We bang our heads, therefore I am: subculture as laboratory of identity – the case of heavy metal
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Subculture is a structure against which identities are both created and guarded. These identities are often socially and practically negotiated against an idea of individual authenticity. The thought of nurturing ones uniqueness while striving to fit in is a common duality and a clear cause of friction within subcultures. The fourty year old heavy metal subculture is no exception. It has proven an arena for boundary drawing, exclusivity and alienation, but also for fierce loyalty and a sense of self-fulfilment.

This thesis studies how young adults construct their identities in relation to subcultures in general and in relation to the heavy metal subculture in particular. This is brought to the for in four articles concerned with the construction and reproduction of subjective and intersubjective authenticity, the stigma and self-determination surrounding alienation, the practices of different levels of rituals and the construction of female gender identity in a male-dominated subculture.

The thesis finds that heavy metal fans construct their identity in relation to the subculture through a life story. This life story is spun around a number of arguments on self and identity, which all aim to position the individual as a long-term, authentic, knowledgeable, self-determined and practically involved heavy metal fan. Furthermore, identity is constructed through a number of practices of which the narration of the subculture and the use of instruments exemplify both abstract and concrete rituals. Alienation is an important aspect of identity creation, especially where heavy metal fans, following an initial feeling of alienation, position themselves and their culture in what is considered a self-chosen manner against an outside society. Alienation can especially accompany the experiences of the female heavy metal fan, both within and outside the subculture. However, endurance and knowledge helps sustain a sense of a self-made identity, which can earn her respect from other heavy metal fans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2012. , p. 87
Series
Örebro Studies in Sociology, ISSN 1650-2531 ; 14
Keywords [en]
subculture, heavy metal, identity, authenticity, ritual, alienation, gender
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-25741ISBN: 978-91-7668-896-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-25741DiVA, id: diva2:550609
Public defence
2012-11-16, Hörsal F, Forumhuset, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-09-07 Created: 2012-09-07 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. I bang my head, therefore I am: constructing individual and social authenticity in the heavy metal subculture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>I bang my head, therefore I am: constructing individual and social authenticity in the heavy metal subculture
2013 (English)In: Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research, ISSN 1103-3088, E-ISSN 1741-3222, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 95-110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates the ways by which heavy metal fans construct their self and collective in relation to the music and the culture, by concentrating on subjective and inter-subjective arguments on what it means to be an authentic heavy metal fan. The empirical material consists of focus group interviews and single interviews with Swedish heavy metal fans of ages 18-27. By way of conclusion, individual construction of an authentic heavy metal identity is the result of a) arguments on long term dedication, b) being able to highlight symbolic events and attributes which are associated with the heavy metal culture, and c) arguments of making the right choices based on an authentic inner voice. Thus, social construction of a common authentic identity is the result of negotiations around an abstract moral. The study finds that the construction of authentic selves and collectives takes place partly in a close social in-group context, where individual and collective dedication is known and need not be argued for, as well as in a thematic in-group, where symbols and attributes are knownbut where dedication must be argued for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications India, 2013
Keywords
Heavy metal, identity, authenticity, self, morals
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26559 (URN)10.1177/1103308812467673 (DOI)000314240800005 ()2-s2.0-84873274065 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-11-30 Created: 2012-11-30 Last updated: 2018-03-06Bibliographically approved
2. Like a trojan horse among the average joes: acknowledging, upholding and reproducing alienation and rebelliousness within the heavy metal subculture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Like a trojan horse among the average joes: acknowledging, upholding and reproducing alienation and rebelliousness within the heavy metal subculture
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to draw attention to the approaches used by young heavy metal fans to acknowledge, uphold and reproduce the dynamic relationship between social alienation and rebelliousness within the heavy metal culture and with the outside world. The empirical material was obtained through focus groups and individual interviews with heavy metal fans of ages 18 through 26. This article makes four main observations. First, alienation in heavy metal culture must be understood in direct relation to the expression of rebelliousness. Second, rebelliousness is a provocation as well as an integration of in-group belongingness and out-group alienation. Third, alienation functions as a precursor to but also a catalyst of rebelliousness. Last, feelings of alienation and rebelliousness have either an abstract or a concrete recipient, towards whom the experience of self is mirrored.

Keywords
alienation, rebelliousness, heavy metal
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26560 (URN)
Available from: 2012-11-30 Created: 2012-11-30 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
3. Never alone in the dark, always alone in the dark: rituals and social adhesives in the heavy metal subculture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Never alone in the dark, always alone in the dark: rituals and social adhesives in the heavy metal subculture
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to research the kinds of rituals which hold the heavy metal culture in its diversity together as well as to research the concrete and abstract connotations of rituals in this context. The empirical material consists of single interview and focus interview receipts covering the reports of 26 heavy metal fans of ages 18-27. By way of conclusion, the heavy metal fans engage in rituals on three levels. First, they have concrete formal ritual meetings in the form of concerts, where they reproduce values of authenticity, negotiate the meaning of attributes and recharge with emotional energy. Second, the fans engage in a natural ritual, a ”de-socialised” ritual, where they nurture a subgenre prone heavy metal identity. This is done by a) engaging in a system of civil inattention in the bodily presence of heavy metal fans of other subgenres and b) reproducing a cultural value of being detached in the bodily absence of other heavy metal fans. Third, they engage in an individual and preparatory ritual, which serves as a reflexive understanding of and transformation into the ideal heavy metal self while preparing for other rituals.

Keywords
heavy metal, rituals, social adhesives
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26561 (URN)
Available from: 2012-11-30 Created: 2012-11-30 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
4. It’s a matter of eating or being eaten: gender positioning and difference making in the heavy metal subculture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>It’s a matter of eating or being eaten: gender positioning and difference making in the heavy metal subculture
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Cultural Studies, ISSN 1367-5494, E-ISSN 1460-3551, Vol. 16, p. 453-467Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is to study how gender difference and ultimately female gender positioning are created and manifested in the heavy metal culture. The empirical material consists of single interviews and focus group interviews with heavy metal fans between the ages of 18 and 26. The overall finding is that, while gender is a movable position in general, women move their gender position to a greater extent than men as they are constantly forced to adhere to the male values of the heavy metal culture. Three dualities in the positioning of heavy metal women illustrate to this phenomenon: a whore-goddess paradigm based on the knowledge of the female heavy metal fan; the balancing act of “acting male” and “looking female”; and the gender “twilight zone” of being insufficiently male for heavy metal culture while being insufficiently female for the mainstream world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, UK: Sage Publications, 2013
Keywords
gender, heavy metal, positioning, difference, representation
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26562 (URN)10.1177/1367549413484305 (DOI)000322320000005 ()
Available from: 2012-11-30 Created: 2012-11-30 Last updated: 2018-03-06Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

omslag(1570 kB)176 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 1570 kBChecksum SHA-512
ba405f4ce4c1c7308f461009b0211086f11d696a4d4e4150fef0b44b21c9307c537202a87702b67a067bdc9a7616302550783d323358163d685dafbcffd4d99b
Type coverMimetype application/pdf
spikblad(76 kB)130 downloads
File information
File name SPIKBLAD01.pdfFile size 76 kBChecksum SHA-512
6aefe0d62500036bda1cd5d72dd400ab73b0741fbe2eeb6f9380ac6ea59f8a37ca5c9d06286783a699d68f33c797e3371ffff07516164a4916c18917047c3c2e
Type spikbladMimetype application/pdf

Authority records BETA

Larsson, Susanna

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Larsson, Susanna
By organisation
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Sociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1342 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf