Forms of capital in the Dhaka metal scene

This article examines the metal scene in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and attempts to explain how the resources crucial to its birth and continued existence can be understood through Bourdieu's different forms of capital. This local metal scene, which is part of a larger alternative music, is a youth-based male-dominated, non-commercial and non-professional music scene based on international genres of metal, located in the unique urban socio-historic milieu of this postcolonial developing country. For this research, a total of fourteen participants involved with this scene were interviewed, supplemented by participant observation at local gigs and analysis of related texts. This local metal community revolves around the activities of primarily middleclass, part-time, male musicians who share particular economic, cultural and social resources that afford their participation in it. Economic and cultural capital involves resources such as privileged upbringing, ability to invest time and money in such semi-professional activities like playing and being involved with metal music, covering costs of buying necessary gear like music instruments, amplifiers, multi-effect processors, microphones, etc., and learning instruments like guitar, bass and drums from music schools or professional music teachers. Being involved with the local metal milieu also entails participating in shared spaces like jamming pads, recording studios and small venues, having access to English-language education, which in turn enables the understanding of foreign music content as well as bringing together people with similar socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and having access to foreign cultures and music through record stores, travels, cable TV channels and the Internet. Of equal significance alongside such economic and cultural capital is social capital. This includes maintaining social networks with, and receiving the approval of, certain influential agents known as Murubbis or Boro Bhais.

Journal Metal Music Studies
Year 2016
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 5-20

Quader, Shams Bin (2016) Forms of capital in the Dhaka metal scene. In: Metal Music Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 5-20. Available at


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