"Lipstick and leather" : recontextualizations of glam metal's style and signification

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Kummer, Jenna
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Sociology
Drawing from the methodologies of critical discourse and semiotic analysis, this study situates the recent return of glam metal style to reality television shows and commercial advertising in broader social practices by considering what attributes of contemporary culture might complement provisional identification with an extinguished subcultural style. Analysis of 1980s music videos identified three key devices, including: recruitment into a negatively defined community; social institutional critique; and carnivalesque reversals of power. In contrast, narratives portrayed in contemporary iterations of glam metal focused on family values, hope, and change. While 1980s videos revealed that the glam metal subcultural style relied upon the shared rejection of values to define group identity, contemporary iterations of the glam metal style emphasize the commonly held values of mature neoliberalism and do not assume group identification. Rather, the style is presented for viewers whose identities are presumed to be mobile and versatile.
advertising , glam metal style , identity formation , music subcultures , reality television , recontextualization