Nelson Varas-Diaz

Nelson Varas-Díaz is a social psychologist and an Associate Professor at the University of Puerto Rico. He has previously published peer-reviewed articles and books on social stigma and communal identities. He has recently engaged in the field of Heavy Metal Studies and published a book chapter on the contributions of progressive metal of social stigma theory.



"Heavy Metal music in the Caribbean Setting: Social Practices and Meanings of Music at the Periphery"

After more than 40 years of development and dissemination across the world, it is safe to say that Heavy Metal music has found its way to the most remote corners of the world. Dissemination through the Internet in a globalized world has facilitated this dissemination. Nevertheless, the fact that individuals enjoy Heavy Metal in these diverse settings does not mean that the music itself has identical meanings for all or serves the same purposes. The Caribbean region is probably one of the most overlooked areas in the study of Heavy Metal, mainly due to its geographical position at the periphery of cosmopolitan cities where the music is produced and consumed.

Still, Heavy Metal has found a place in the Caribbean region through local bands, sporadic concerts, and participants in an imagined metal community. The main aim of our presentation is to explore the social meanings ascribed to practices related to Heavy Metal music in the Caribbean context. This will be achieved through the presentation of data generated via qualitative techniques (in-depth interviews and focus groups) with fans of Heavy Metal music in Puerto Rico. These materials were subjected to a discourse analysis procedure to examine how fans of Heavy Metal music interpret its rile in their daily lives, and understand its place in their specific socio-cultural context in the Caribbean region. The proposed study will continue to shed light on the role of Heavy Metal in the ever-growing peripheries of the world where it has made its presence felt.

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, March 24

9:00am EDT