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'Love's labours': extreme metal music and its feeling community

By Nicola Faye Allett


"'Love's Labours': Extreme Metal Music, and its Feeling Community" proposes an understanding of the nature of subcultural investments in music. It explores the distinct character of Extreme Metal music and the subcultural world that surrounds its fandom. In particular, it is concerned with the nature of attachments to and investments in subculture, investigating how fans feel part of a community, how identities are positioned and postured as 'Extreme Metal', and what processes and activities construct such identifications. Through qualitative research of a group of Extreme Metal fans, and drawing on a variety of theoretical concepts; it suggests that subcultural identities may be related to the processes of interaction and performance and the distinctive forms of subcultural habitus and expert labours linked to those activities. It further suggests that the fan/music relationship can be considered as a site of deep knowledges of 'self', performative labours and interpersonal relations in ways significantly more nuanced than previously theorised. It points to 'feeling' as a key feature of music fandom that provides the explanatory drive to take on, and embed oneself in, particular subcultural habitus, performances and kinship and thus subculture. It proposes that music subcultures can be understood as 'performative feeling communities' that anchor and forge forms of distinction

Topics: ML, HM
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