Observations on the Chinese metal scene (1990-2013): history, identity, industry, and social interpretation

Wang, Yuan (2017) Observations on the Chinese metal scene (1990-2013): history, identity, industry, and social interpretation. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Metal studies, popular music studies, Chinese metal, history, industry, identity, social meaning.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Cloonan, Professor Martin and Pearce, Professor Nicholas
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Dr Yuan Wang
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8172
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 14:57
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2017 07:35
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/8172

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