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They Call Us Metalheads: A Culture Sociology Mapping Of The Swedish Metal Public

Andreas Rana, among other things a writer for Sweden Rock Magazine, has recently finished a thesis for his bachelor degree in media and communication entitled They Call Us Metalheads: A Culture Sociology Mapping Of The Swedish Metal Public. In this work he points at the sociological aspects of being a metal fan. The following is a short introduction to the thesis by Andreas himself.

Dear Metalhead, before you mosh your way into the crowd again, may I briefly ask you: who are you and your fellow comrades? What are your opinions and what do you think? How do you regard your reality and what are your feelings towards the world? If questions like these puzzle your metallic mind, do not despair, a recent Culture Sociology thesis is ready to hand you the answers.

Like most other subcultural elements in our postmodern society – may it be punks, ravers, rastafaris, skinheads or whatever – metalheads have long been subject for myths and preconceptions, at times causing vivid political debates and moral panic, and always frowned upon by the surrounding world. But, are these myths really true? If not, what is the truth? And why is that true?

I, Andreas Rana, Ph. B. in Media and Communications, writer at Sweden Rock Magazine and author of this article, have put Swedish fans of heavy metal under the magnifying glass in my bachelor’s thesis. This quantitative study – entitled They Call Us Metalheads: a Culture Sociology Mapping of the Swedish Metal Public – was based on an extensive Internet-questionnaire with themes ranging from social background and aesthetic taste, to politics and religion, as well as everyday business, alcohol and drug use. It thoroughly investigates the values, ideals and lifestyles rooted among the social group of headbangers, aiming to outline overall cultural patterns and tendencies among the fans, and relating their cultural position and characteristic aesthetics to the society in whole.

The complete thesis can be downloaded as a .pdf file here: They Call Us Metalheads (in swedish only). An abstract in English can be viewed here.

Contact Andreas Rana here and visit his personal site here.