Eleanor Peters (Edge Hill University, UK)

The Use and Abuse of Music: Criminal Records

ISBN: 978-1-78769-002-8, eISBN: 978-1-78756-999-7

Publication date: 23 August 2019


Peters, E. (2019), "Prelims", The Use and Abuse of Music: Criminal Records (Emerald Studies in Alternativity and Marginalization), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. i-xii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Eleanor Peters.

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Series Editors: Samantha Holland, Leeds Beckett University, UK and Karl Spracklen, Leeds Beckett University, UK

There is growing interest in work on transgression, liminality and sub-cultural capital within cultural studies, sociology and the social sciences more broadly. However, there is a lack of understanding of the problem of alternativity: what it means to be alternative in culture and society in modernity. What ‘alternative’ looks like is often left unexplored. The alternative is either assumed un-problematically, or stands in for some other form of social and cultural exclusion.

Alternativity delineates those spaces, scenes, sub-cultures, objects and practices in modern society that are actively designed to be counter or resistive to mainstream popular culture. Alternativity is associated with marginalization, both actively pursued by individuals, and imposed on individuals and sub-cultures. Alternativity was originally represented and constructed through acts of transgression and through shared sub-cultural capital. In contemporary society, alternative music scenes such as heavy metal, goth and punk have spread around the world; and alternative fashions and embodiment practices are now adopted by footballers and fashion models. The nature of alternativity as a communicative lifeworld is now questioned in an age of globalisation and hyper-commodification.

This book series provides a stimulus to new research and new theorising on alternativity and marginalisation. It provides a focus for scholars interested in sociological and cultural research that expands our understanding of the ontological status of spaces, scenes, sub-cultures, objects and practices defined as alternative, liminal or transgressive. In turn, the book series enables scholars to theorise about the status of the alternative in contemporary culture and society.

Titles in this series

Amanda DiGioia, Childbirth and Parenting in Horror Texts: The Marginalized and the Monstrous

Karl Spracklen and Beverley Spracklen, The Evolution of Goth Culture: The Origins and Deeds of the New Goths

Samantha Holland and Karl Spracklen (eds), Subcultures, Bodies and Spaces: Essays on Alternativity and Marginalization

Marie-Cécile Cervellon and Stephen Brown, Revolutionary Nostalgia: Neo-Burlesque, Retromania and Social Change

Asya Draganova, Popular Music in Contemporary Bulgaria: At the Crossroads

Title Page


Criminal Records


Edge Hill University, UK

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2019

Copyright © 2019 Eleanor Peters. Published under exclusive license.

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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. No responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. The opinions expressed in these chapters are not necessarily those of the Author or the publisher.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-78769-002-8 (Paperback)

ISBN: 978-1-78756-999-7 (E-ISBN)

ISBN: 978-1-78769-001-1 (Epub)


To Liam, thanks for your love, support and tolerance of dodgy heavy metal


Acknowledgements xi
Introduction 1
1. ‘Deviant’ Music 11
2. Murder Music 33
3. Music: Conflict, Manipulation and Torture 59
4. Music: Punishment, Persecution, Pacification, and Patriarchy 85
5. Noise Pollution 105
6. Censorship 123
Conclusion 147
References 153
Index 241


All the members of the Department of Law and Criminology have been supportive of me while I was writing this book, but I especially need to thank head of department, Professor Franco Rizzuto for his interest in my work, to Professor Andrew Millie, who encouraged me throughout and special thanks to Dr Alana Barton and Dr Howard Davis for their insightful contributions to my thinking around the issues in this book. Thanks to Dr Clare Kinsella for her friendship, encouragement and help with this book, to Michael Cawley for being a good mate and taking the research methods module for me and Dr Helen Baker for being a good friend and cheerleader. Thanks to ‘the bad cop to my bad cop’, Julie T. Davies, to my animal loving friends and colleagues Dr Helen Elfleet, Anita Hobson, Dr Agnieszka Martynowicz (may we never run out of dogs and cats to fuss), to Barbara Houghton, Grace Robinson and Linda Williams for all their support. I also want to thank past and present students of the module Justice, Rights and the State for their contributions to the sessions on music and rights; I hope you’ve forgiven me for playing Drowning Pool’s Bodies at high volume!

Thanks to Sophie Darling, Philippa Grand and Rajachitra at Emerald for their help and encouragement and to the Series Editors of Emerald Studies in Alternativity and Marginalization, Samantha Holland and Karl Spracklen, for their feedback and support. I would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.

My family and friends have also played their part. Thanks to Liam, for his encouragement and proofreading skills, and to our brilliant daughters, Caitlin and Roisin, for all their love and patience while I was writing this and to my lovely mother-in-law, Deirdre. Thanks to my friends for the support, encouragement, childcare and not complaining about my absence; Carol, Clare, Claire, Laura and Rose. My late parents influenced my interest in music in different ways, Mom with her hard rock and Dad with his easy listening, so I hope Don is humming along with the Rat Pack and Henzie is hanging with Jim and Jimi.