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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 1552-8480, 2013 vol. 21 no. 1 95-110, Vol. 21, no 1, 95-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates the ways in which heavy metal fans construct their selves and collectives in relation to the music and the culture, by concentrating on subjective and intersubjective 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, I find that individual construction of an authentic heavy metal identity is the result of (a) arguments of long-term dedication, (b) being able to highlight symbolic events and attributes that 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 on which this article is based 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 known but where dedication must be argued for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 21, no 1, 95-110 p.
Keyword [en]
heavy metal, identity, authenticity, self, morals
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-30081DOI: 10.1177/1103308812467673OAI: diva2:638568
Available from: 2013-07-31 Created: 2013-07-31 Last updated: 2013-07-31Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, Susanna
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