Heavy metal carnival and dis-alienation: The politics of grotesque realism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on four years of concert fieldwork and extensive music media analysis (including bands such as Cradle of Filth, GWAR, Insane Clown Posse, Marilyn Manson, and Slipknot), this article shows how heavy metal music and its carnival culture express a dis-alienating politics of resistance. Applying Bakhtin's multifaceted conceptualization of the carnival-grotesque, the author explains how grotesque realism in metal music and performances constitutes a proto-utopian liminal alternative to the impersonal, conformist, superficial, unequal, and numbing realities of commercialism and, more abstractly, a resistance to a society of spectacle and nothingness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-48
Number of pages16
JournalSymbolic Interaction
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

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carnival
Politics
Music
alienation
Heavy Metals
realism
Heavy metals
music
politics
Metals
media analysis
concert
performance

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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Heavy metal carnival and dis-alienation : The politics of grotesque realism. / Halnon, Karen B.

In: Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 29, No. 1, 01.12.2006, p. 33-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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