Brown, A.R and Griffin, C. (2014) '‘A cockroach preserved in amber’: the significance of class in critics’ representations of heavy metal music and its’ fans.' Sociological Review, 62 (4). pp. 719-741. ISSN 1467-954X
Text (A cockroach preserved in amber)
Brown - Cockroach preserved....pdf - Accepted Version
All Rights Reserved.
Download (731kB) | Preview
In this paper we engage with new cultural theories of class that have identified media representations of ‘excessive’ white heterosexual working class femininity as a ‘constitutive limit’ of incorporation into dominant (middle class) modes of neo-liberal subjectivity and Bourdieu’s thesis that classification is a form of symbolic violence that constitutes both the classifier and the classified. However, what we explore are the implications of such arguments for those modes of white heterosexual working class masculinity that continue to reproduce themselves in forms of overtly-masculinist popular culture. We do so through a critical examination of the symbolic representation of the genre of heavy metal music within contemporary music journalism. Employing a version of critical discourse analysis, we offer an analysis of representative reviews, derived from a qualitative sample of the UK music magazine, New Musical Express (1999-2008). This weekly title, historically associated with the ideals of the ‘counter culture’, now offers leadership of musical tastes in an increasingly segmented, niche-oriented marketplace. Deploying a refined model of the inscription process outlined by Skeggs, our analysis demonstrates how contemporary music criticism symbolically attaches negative attributes and forms of personhood to the working class male bodies identified with heavy metal culture and its audience, allowing dominant middle class modes of cultural authority to be inscribed within matters of musical taste and distinction.
First published online 8 October 2014.
|Keywords:||neo-liberal subject, classification, symbolic violence, inscription, constitutive limit, heavy metal, masculine excess|
|Divisions:||College of Liberal Arts|
|Date Deposited:||07 May 2015 16:52|
|Last Modified:||08 Oct 2016 01:40|
|References:||Arnett, J. J. (1995) Metalheads: Heavy Metal Music and Adolescent Alienation, Westview Press, Boulder, CA. Bashe, P. (1985) Heavy Metal Thunder, London: Omnibus Press. Berger, H.M. (1999a) Metal, Rock and Jazz: Perception and the Phenomenology of Musical Experience, Wesleyan University Press, Hanover. Bourdieu, P. (1984), Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, London: Routledge. Bromley, R. (2000), ‘The theme that dare not speak its name: class and recent British film’, in Munt, S., Cultural Studies and the Working Class, London and New York: Cassell: 51-68. Brown, A. R. (2003), 'Heavy metal and Subcultural Theory: A paradigmatic case of neglect ?' in Muggleton, D. and Weinzierl, R., The Post-Subcultures Reader, Oxford and New York: Berg Publishers: 305-26. Brown, A. R. (2007) "Everything Louder than Everything Else': The Contemporary Metal Music Magazine and its Cultural Appeal' Journalism Studies, vol. 8 (4): 642-55. Brown, A. R. (2014) "Everything Louder than Everyone Else': The Origins and Persistence of Heavy Metal Music and its Global Cultural Impact’, in Bennett, A. and Wacksman, S. (eds) The Sage Handbook of Popular Music Genres, London: Sage. Brown, A. R. (in press), ‘Grindcore’ and 'Thrash/Speed Metal', in Shepherd, J., Horn, D. and Laing, D. (eds) The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Vol 8: Genres, New York and London: Continuum. Brown, A.R. and Griffin, C. (2009) ‘Inscribing the abhorred space: The significance of class in critics’ representations of Heavy Metal music and its’ fans’, Paper presented to the BSA Annual Conference: The Challenge of Global Social Inquiry, Cardiff City Hall, 16th-18th April. Bryson, B. (1996) “Anything but Heavy Metal”: Symbolic Exclusion and Musical Dislikes’, American Sociological Review, 61, no.5, pp. 884-899. Bryson, B. (1997) ‘What about the univores? Music dislikes and group-based identity construction among Americans with low levels of education’, Poetics, vol. 25, no. 2-3, pp. 141-156. Chambers, I. (1985), Urban Rhythms: Pop Music and Urban Culture, London: Macmillan. Deacon, D., Pickering, M., Golding, P. and Murdock, G. (2007), Researching Communications: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media and Cultural Analysis London: Bloomsbury, 2nd ed. Featherstone, M. (1991), Consumer Culture and Postmodernism London: Sage. Forde, E. (2001), ‘From polyglottism to branding: On the decline of personality journalism in the British music press’, Journalism 2 (1): 23-43. Fox, A. F. (2004) ‘White Trash Alchemies of the Abject Sublime: Country as Bad Music’, in C. Washburne and M. Derno (eds) Bad Music: The Music We Love to Hate, New York: Routledge, pp. 39-61. Frith, S. (1978), The Sociology of Rock, London: Constable. Frith, S. (1983), Sound Effects: Youth, Leisure and the Politics of Rock ‘n’ Roll London: Constable. Frith, S. & McRobbie, A. (2000) ‘Rock and Sexuality' in McRobbie, A. (ed) Feminism and Youth Culture, 2nd ed., Macmillan, London. Gaines, D. (1991) Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids, University of Chicago Press. Gudmundsson, G., Lindberg, U., Michelsen, M. and Weisethaunet, H. (2002), ‘Brit Crit: Turning points in British rock criticism, 1960-1990’ in Jones, S., Pop Music and the Press, Philadelphia: Temple University Press: 41-64. Kahn-Harris, K. (2007) Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge. Oxford: Berg. Laing, D. (2005) ‘Anglo-American Music Journalism: Texts and contexts’ in Bennett, A. Shank, B. and Toynbee, J., The Popular Music Studies Reader, London: Routledge: 333-339. Lash, S. (1994), ‘Reflexivity and its Doubles: Structure, Aesthetics, Community’, in Beck, U. Giddens, A. and Lash, S., Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order, Cambridge: Polity: 110-173. Lawler, S. (2005), ‘Disgusted Subjects: The Making of Middle-Class Identities’, The Sociological Review, 53(3): 429–46. Lawler, S., (2002), ‘Mobs and monsters: independent man meets Paulsgrove women’, Feminist Theory, Vol. 3, No. 1: 103–113. LeVine, M. (2008), Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam, New York: Three Rivers Press. Lindberg, U., Gudmundsson, G., Michelsen, M. and Weisethaunet, H. (2005), Rock Criticism from the Beginning: Amusers, Bruisers & Cool-headed Cruisers, New York: Peter Lang. McRobbie, A., (2004), ‘Notes on ‘What Not to Wear’ and post-feminist symbolic violence’ in Adkins, L. and Skeggs, B., Feminism After Bourdieu, Oxford: Blackwell: 99-109. Moore, R. (2010), Sells Like Teen Spirit : Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis, New York University Press. Murdock, G. and Phelps, G. (1973), Mass Media and the Secondary School, London; Macmillan. Murray, C-S. (1992), ‘What Have They Done to my Blues, Ma?’ in Heylin, C., The Penguin book of rock and roll writing, London: Viking: 604-611. Palmer, G. (2004), “The New You”: Class and transformation in lifestyle television’ in Holmes, S. and Jermyn, D., Understanding Reality Television, London and New York: Routledge: 173-90. Laeermans, R. (1992) ‘The relative rightness of Pierre Bourdieu: Some sociological comments on the legitimacy of postmodern art, literature and culture’, Cultural Studies, vol. 6 (2): 248-60. Rose, N. (1989) Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self, London: Routledge. Rose, S. O. (1999) ‘Cultural Analysis and Moral Discourses: Episodes, Continuities and Transformations’, in Bonnell, V.E. and Hunt, L. Beyond the Cultural Turn, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press: 217–41. Savage, M. (2000) Class Analysis and Social Transformation, Buckingham: Open University Press. Savage, M. (2003), ‘A New Class Paradigm?’: A Review Essay, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24(4): 535-541. Savage, M. (2006) ‘The Musical Field’, Cultural Trends, vol. 15, no. 2/3, pp. 159-174. Savage, M., J. Barlow, P. Dickens and T. Feilding (1992), Property, Bureaucracy and Culture: Middle-Class Formation in Contemporary Britain, London: Routledge. Savage, M., Bagnall, G. and Longhurst, B., (2001), ‘Ordinary, ambivalent and defensive: class identities in the Northwest of England’, Sociology, 35 (4): 875–892. Skeggs, B. (1997), Formations of Class and Gender: Becoming Respectable, London: Sage. Skeggs, B. (2004), Class, Self, Culture, London: Routledge. Skeggs, B. (2005), ‘The Making of Class and Gender Through Visualizing Moral Subject Formation’, Sociology, 39(5): 965-982. Straw, W. (1990), ‘Characterizing Rock Music Culture: the Case of Heavy metal’ in Frith, S. and Goodwin, A., On Record: Rock, Pop and the Written Word, London: Routledge: 97-110. Tanner, J. (1981) ‘Pop music and peer groups: a study of Canadian high school students’ responses to pop music’, Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology, vol.18, no. 1, pp. 1-13. Thornton, S. (1995), Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, Cambridge: Polity. Toynbee, J. (1993), ‘Policing Bohemia, pining up grunge: the music press and generic change in British pop and rock’ Popular Music 12(3): 289-300. Tucker, K. (1986) ‘Hard Rock on the Rise’ in Ward, E., Stokes, G. and Tucker, K. Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll, Harmondsworth: Penguin: 480-486. Walkerdine, V. (2003), ‘Reclassifying Upward Mobility: Femininity and the Neo-liberal Subject’, Gender and Education 15(3): 237–48. Wallach, J., Berger, H. M. and Greene, P. D. (2011) Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World, Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2011. Walser, R. (1993), Running With the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy metal Music Hanover: Wesleyan University Press Weinstein, D. (2000), Heavy metal: The Music and its Culture New York: De Capo Press. Weinstein, D. (2004), ‘Rock Critics Need Bad Music’ in Washburne, C. J. and Derno, M. Bad Music: The Music We Love to Hate, New York: Routledge: 294-310. Wood, H. and Skeggs, B (2007), ‘Spectacular Morality: ‘Reality’ television, individualisation and the remaking of the working class’ in Hesmondhalgh, D. and Toynbee, J., The Media and Social Theory, London and New York: Routledge: 177-193.|
|Request a change to this item or report an issue|
|Update item (repository staff only)|