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Heavy Metal Politics: Culture, Identity, and Political Engagement Within the Taiwanese Heavy Metal Scene
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS).
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In January 2016, during Taiwan’s national elections, Freddy Lim, a prominent human-rights activist and heavy metal star, was elected into the country’s legislature after founding the pro-Taiwan-Independence New Power Party. Lim’s band Chthonic are well known for their use of Taiwanese culture, history, and mythology in their music and visual style, and are perhaps even more famous for their political intentions, the most prominent of which being Taiwan Independence. ‘Taiwanised’ – or culturally Taiwanese – metal bands akin to Chthonic are gaining in popularity, and political engagement within Taiwan’s heavy metal scene is on the rise. Using this as an impetus, this study aims to investigate what the connection is between Taiwanese heavy metal music and Taiwanese politics, particularly with regards to the effects Taiwanese identity and culture have on Taiwanese heavy metal music, and the political engagement of Taiwanese heavy metal fans, in order to explore the notion that music has the potential to aid in social change and the development process. Using theories of culture and identity, with particular emphasis on the concept of identity formation in response to the ‘Other,’ this study analyses data collected from semi-structured interviews with prominent figures from within the Taiwanese heavy metal scene, including Freddy Lim himself. Survey data collected from Taiwanese heavy metal fans is also analysed. Results show that many Taiwanese metal bands employ Taiwanese cultural themes in their music in order to assert their self-identification as Taiwanese. Further, many Taiwanese heavy metal bands support and engage with the Taiwan Independence movement, and hold strong anti-Kuomintang and anti-China views. The majority of fans have been directly influenced by Taiwanese heavy metal, and political interest and engagement in political events and movements within the scene is currently high.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle , 2018. , p. 55
Keywords [en]
Taiwan, China, Culture, identity, independence, politics, heavy metal, music
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-21742Local ID: 26120OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-21742DiVA, id: diva2:1481650
Educational program
KS K3 Communication for development
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-10-27 Created: 2020-10-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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Output format
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