'Caught in a Mosh': Moshpit Culture, Extreme Metal Music, and the Reconceptualization of Leisure

  • Author / Creator
    Riches, Gabrielle
  • This study explores the ways in which moshing and extreme metal music reflects and informs the social worlds of metal fans. The research project incorporates narrative ethnography which offers the opportunity to explore how underground subcultural practices contribute to our understandings of how violence, pain, and pleasure can be thought with compassion and possibility in leisure. Key concepts such as liminality (Turner, 1979), Dionysian aesthetics (Hawley, 2010; Maffesoli, 1993; Bataille, 1986/1989), and Cagean philosophy (Cage, 1957; Brooks, 2002; Kostelanetz, 1996; Patterson, 2002) are used to examine the nuances and subtleties of moshing culture, practices and behaviours in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Four main themes emerged: the physicality and reality of participating in a moshpit, pit etiquette and movements of trust, negotiation of space within the moshpit, and the significance of moshing for local metal fans. The study accentuated how tensions, pleasures, and resistant practices are necessary in creating meaningful leisure experiences.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.