Doing Gender in Heavy Metal: Perceptions on Women in a Hypermasculine Subculture, by Anna S. Rogers and Mathieu Deflem (Anthem Press, 2022)

Anna S. Rogers
University of Georgia
Mathieu Deflem
Google Scholar | ResearchGate | ORCID

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Published by Anthem Press. women in heavy metal 

© 2022  heavy metal music studies gender women sexism sociology hypermasculine subculture


This book offers a sociological examination of gender issues concerning the place and role of women in the heavy metal subculture. Grounded in feminist theories of gender difference and in dialogue with relevant studies from various perspectives, this study analyzes how women are perceived to ‘do gender’ in the heavy metal community, which has traditionally been largely composed of men and is commonly known for its hypermasculine qualities. Relying on semi-structured interviews with self-identified fans of heavy metal, we reveal that the respondents indeed describe their own music (sub)culture as traditionally dominated by men, but that they also note the distinct signs of progress women have made in entering into and participating within the heavy metal culture on terms aspiring to equality with men. Yet, despite these changes that are understood as positive for women, both for their place in society as well as for the world of heavy metal, gendered conditions driven by masculinity continue to exist for women in heavy metal. Women are thus attempting to find their way to develop what might one day become, but as of now not yet is, a realized and acknowledged identity and culture of heavy metal feminism. 

Related blog post: Heavy Metal Women: How Gender Matters in Popular Culture, Anthem Press Blog, June 7, 2021.


Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Gender and Popular Culture: The Case of Heavy Metal
2. Doing Gender: A Sociological Perspective
3. Hypermasculinity and Heavy Metal
4. Interrogating Metal: Fan Perceptions on Gender
5. Metalhead: Music as Identity
6. Metal Woman: Being Gender, Playing Gender
7. Degrees of Metal: Variation and Change
8. Towards Heavy Metal Feminism?
Index "women in heavy metal" "sexism in heavy metal" gender and heavy metal
Women in Hypermasculine Environments: An Analysis of Gender Dynamics in the Heavy Metal Subculture


Bleeding Metal Podcast - Podcast by Bleeding Metal on "Metal & High Heels" with Pia and Kiki focusing on all things heavy metal from the lens of #WomenInMetal. Interview with author Anna S. Rogers, January 18, 2022. Click the title link or press the play button to the right! 
Not Your Little Lady: Heavy Metal and Feminism - Podcast interview by Allison Carter of Not Your Little Lady, speaking with Anna Rogers about how she began researching music and gender when her favorite band, Korn, was thought to be and problematic. Anna also discusses how she got into metal, hypermasculinity in the genre, mosh pits, feminism, and doing gender, with a special focus on metal culture in the American South and how gender norms of the region have influenced it. Click here to listen on Spotify and Apple. Posted March 2, 2022.
From Metalhead to Metal Researcher - Interview feature with Anna Rogers, from student to author, December 2021.   

USC Alum's Book Explains Importance of Gender Representation in Heavy Metal Music - The Daily Gamecock, January 9, 2022. 

Amazon Hot New Releases - The book was included on Amazon's lists of New Releases in Popular Culture in Social Sciences, where it ranked #81, and General Gender Studies, where it ranked as high as #14 on November 1, 2021.

USC Professor and Former Grad Student Publish Book on Women in Heavy Metal - Article by Lucas Daprille in The State, October 22, 2021. Click image for print version in the newspaper. 

WIA Report: Recent Books of Interest to Women Scholars - Women in Academia Report included the book in its list of books of interest published on October 12, 2021. 

"Popular culture is an important indicator of social trends and patterns, and music is an important and evolving element of popular culture. Doing Gender in Heavy Metal: Perceptions on Women in a Hypermasculine Subculture, by Anna S. Rogers and Mathieu Deflem examines gender patterns in heavy metal, as experienced by self-identified fans of the genre... this book provides a welcome addition to gender analyses in specific contexts. The discussions of gender performativity and defensive othering are comprehensive and provide accessible examples to which students would likely relate. It would fit in nicely as one reading in a graduate seminar on the sociology of music, or in a theory class in a unit on gender. Alternatively, this book could be a springboard into an assignment specifically on sexualization of women in music, or other homosocial environments." - Rachel Kalish, Contemporary Sociology, 2023.

"[Doing Gender in Heavy Metal] is a very interesting, thoughtful and useful study. I’m glad it got published in book form because it might (should!) find a broader audience outside the academic community. Surf into your favourite on-line retailer or better yet visit a real bookstore, and grab a copy for your library!" - Book review on heavy metal website's Library of Loudness, February 1, 2022.

Doing Gender in Heavy Metal offers a fascinating exploration of gender in the male-dominated world of heavy metal. The interviews with fans demonstrate that gender shapes aspects of this subculture in both expected and unexpected ways.” —Dawn K. Cecil, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg  


This book is published by Anthem Press in paperback, eBook/Kindle, and hardback. 

Available in paperback for just $25.00 (Amazon).

Other Amazon sites: UK | France | Deutschland | Canada | Japan

Also available as Kindle, eBook, and hardback, and at the following:


ISBN: 9781839981364 (pb) | 9781839981333 (hb) | 9781839981357 (epub) 
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Published in London and New York by Anthem Press


© 2022 ISBN-13: 978-1-83998-133-3 (Hbk) ISBN-10: 1-83998-133-4 (Hbk) ISBN-13: 978-1-83998-136-4 (Pbk) ISBN-10: 1-83998-136-9 (Pbk)

See more writings by Rogers and other books by Deflem.