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'Hard and Heavy': gender and power in a heavy metal music subculture

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Abstract:

This article analyses gendered structures of power in a heavy metal (HM) music club. Although both male and female HM devotees often declare that they are engaged in a rebellious activity, this romantic conviction sits uneasily alongside the HM scene's reinforcement of conventional gender relations and identities. Although many women gravitated toward the HM setting in order to escape stifling adolescent situations, they wound up in another oppressive context. Both the forceful corporeal practices of men and the highly gendered structures of power meant that women 'did' gender on men's terms. HM texts, narratives, identities, and corporeal practices constituted a complex and contradictory gender regime that literally kept women 'in their place'.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09663690050130516

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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