Brown, A.R (2011) Raunchy, Girly, Rock Bitch and Lavender: mapping female reader repertoires within tabloid metal magazine culture. In: Mapping the Magazine 3 Conference, 7 - 8 July 2011, Cardiff University.

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Despite the impact of Web 2.0 ‘interactive’ new media on older forms of media communication and on the cultural practices of contemporary youth, the niche-oriented magazine - especially music magazines with a subcultural or ‘scene’ focus - continue to recruit new readers because they offer an attractively mediated point of entry into subcultural worlds that appear to exist just below the radar of mainstream culture. With the industry-wide reorganisation of the magazine sector from the 1990s onwards into branded and niche-oriented titles, identifying and breaking new trends has become a survival strategy, in gaining new readers. This is particularly true of the metal press – via the notable success of branded titles, such as Kerrang! - in closely identifying themselves with new music, such as nu-metal, alt.rock, pop-punk, death-core and emo, and thereby recruiting a new cohort of teen female readers into a genre that has traditionally been male dominated but also celebratory of a non-conformist style of youthful masculinity. Drawing on a 36 month analysis of six leading UK and US tabloid magazines – Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Terrorizer, Metal Maniacs, Decibel and Revolver – this paper explores how such readers engage with and negotiate a range of female metal identities through their reception and interaction with metal magazine culture, notably through the letter’s page. Examining, in particular, female reader’s responses to the Revolver feature on female metal musicians, The Hottest Chicks in Metal series, the paper seeks to explore the range of responses in evidence and how they can map female reader repertoires of accommodation, negotiation, challenge and contestation of sexism in metal magazine editorial strategies. Seeking to contextualise this analysis, the paper goes on to examine a 36 month sample of the letter’s page of Kerrang!, revealing a vibrant participatory culture of young female fans who claim metal music for themselves.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Paper also presented at the British Sociological Association's (BSA) YOUTH 2010: Identities, Transitions, Cultures Conference, at the University of Surrey, 6-8 July 2010

Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
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Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2014 21:09
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 13:28
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