Epistemic, interpersonal, and moral stances in the construction of us and them in Christian metal lyrics
Jousmäki, H. (2011). Epistemic, interpersonal, and moral stances in the construction of us and them in Christian metal lyrics. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 6 (1), 53-66. doi:10.1080/17447143.2010.535611
Published inJournal of Multicultural Discourses
© Routledge. This is a post-print version of an article published in Journal of Multicultural Discourses 6 (1), 53-66.
Religious groupings and subcultures both tend to have well-articulated interests, aims, and values that unite certain people but also alienate those who do not share their interests. The case is then made for the construction of difference between 'us' and 'them'. This paper examines the construction of such a group boundary in the previously little studied context of the Christian metal (CM) music subculture. The focus of analysis is on the kinds of stances that are taken and attributed to 'us' and 'them' in the English lyrics of Finnish CM groups. The particular types of stance are related to questions of epistemology, interpersonality, and morality. The paper shows that the borderlines between CM and its Other are drawn on the basis of stance on being right/wrong, heading for heaven/hell, and having a better/worse divinity as an object of worship. The use of binary opposites, together with the practice of elevating 'us' and devaluing 'them', constructs CM as a categorical movement which relies on conservative Christian values. CM can thus be seen as resistance or perhaps even a counterattack against the general religo-cultural trend of abandoning Christianity in Western societies. ...