The Numbers of the Beast
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The Numbers of the Beast book
In Les Nouvelles Tribus Urbaines (1999), Valérie Fournier argues that most of the contemporary examples of youth tribes or subcultural ‘styles’ are identified by their relationship to music genres. This chapter will focus attention on the Iron Maiden tribe, who can be considered a representative segment of the global heavy metal tribus, who were encountered via an Internet survey carried out between December 2007 and July 2009. Over four thousand (4,456) computer literate Maiden fans, from 70 countries, answered the 135 questions that made up the ‘Ironthesis’ on-line questionnaire survey, in this period. Accordingly, the aims of this chapter are threefold. First, to describe how this global survey was conceived and conducted, paying attention to the issues of gathering large social data sets via the Internet and, in particular, how to overcome geographical and language barriers, so that the survey could be as representative as possible. Second, to describe and illustrate the global scale of the survey in terms of the number of fans that participated, their nationalities, and their countries of residence. Third, to record the social morphology of these fans, in terms of age, gender, residence, education, employment, social background, marital status, religious beliefs, political affiliation, and so on and to discuss this data in relation to previous national and regional survey findings and debates about heavy metal fandom, particularly but not exclusively in France, Germany, and North America.