Studying religious music at the grassroots level: a look into the discourse practices of Christian metal bands online
AbstractReligious issues are studied in various ways, most prominently by sociologists of religion. This paper suggests that in today’s world of globally intersecting webs of people, places, ideas and action, scholars and readers interested in religion will find themselves benefiting from cross-disciplinary approaches which help them to conceptualize and describe today’s phenomena at different levels. This paper describes how the emerging discipline of the sociology of language and religion may be applied to studying Christian metal bands’ discourse online. Although previous studies give a good idea of the structures, practices and tendencies in and related to Christian metal, little is reported on what happens at the very micro-level of Christian metal – for example, how they represent themselves to their audiences, what they sing about, and what else they say and, importantly, how they say it. To fill this gap, Christian metal bands’ online presence is examined with a particular interest in how the bands utilize online spaces to build up Christian metal identity and culture with the help of textual, discursive, and multimodal resources. This includes a look at the online self-representation of Christian metal bands, a more detailed investigation of the uses of the Bible on bands’ websites, as well as perspectives on an important part of Christian metal; namely the lyrics.
Copyright (c) 2013 Henna Jousmäki
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