Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > "Getting My Soul Back': Empowerment Narratives Among Female-Identified Fans of Death Metal in North Carolina

This ethnographic study contributes to the recent global body of research that examines how female-identifying fans interpret, challenge, temporarily escape, and/or play with gender in their own terms within extreme metal scenes. Using folklore methodology, it expands upon this research through situating participants in their broader socio-historical contexts. By examining the life narratives of death metal participants in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, it offers a critical framework that will enable researchers to gain a deeper understanding of not only women’s involvement within the scene, but also how they interpret their own participation—rather than simply conforming to masculinist norms—and specifically how they use the music to gain empowerment and develop resilience in their everyday lives. Its findings are useful for scholars studying fan engagement in music communities, extreme metal scenes, life narrative and identity construction, gender, race, and class performance in the southern United States, and structural violence and education.