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Title: Observations on the Chinese metal scene (1990-2013) : history, identity, industry, and social interpretation
Author: Wang, Yuan
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines Chinese metal of the mainland China as a contemporary cultural phenomenon, which consists of seven chapters. It begins with three premise chapters providing the necessary definitions and terminology about Chinese metal, reviewing the relevant literature, and explaining the multiple methodologies applied, respectively. Based on that, the following chapters explore Chinese metal from four perspectives, including the history, identity, industry, and social meaning. More specifically, Chapter 4 defines the history of Chinese metal as two waves, the heavy rock era (1990-1996) and extreme metal era (2000-2013). This overall trajectory had been moving forward with the country’s economic growth, technological progress, and cultural liberalism, showing a unique U-shape curve: starting in the mainstream field in the early 1990s, declining in the late 1990s, booming underground in the early 2000s, and rising again in the 2010s. Chapter 5 illustrates that the development of Chinese metal underwent a tension between globalisation and localisation, which were reflected in the texts of the music, MV, cover art, and folk metal subgenre. Particularly, this tension resulted in an identity struggle of the current Chinese metal musicians, which was realised by a mechanism of original identity suspension, textual deconstruction, and identity reconstruction. Chapter 6 proposes that the Chinese metal industries made great progress driven by the country’s rapid economic growth and cultural diversity, and a relatively maturely industrial system with different capitals and fields had been established by the 2000s, including the sections of labels, recordings, lives, media, merchandise, and a few peripheral activities. Chapter 7 argues that because of its essence of symbolic transgression, Chinese metal provided the musicians and audiences with a quasi-ritual catharsis to temporarily escape from the pressures of the reality. Meanwhile, Chinese metal presented a unique attribute of “pseudo-evil” as an intentional reaction against the general hypocrisy which is the most severe social pathology in the contemporary Chinese society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; M Music ; MT Musical instruction and study