Author(s): Dave Snell
'When I was twelve years old I was introduced to the music of AC/DC. My dad had bought a cassette tape called The Razor's Edge. The cover was metallic silver, with the band's logo bursting through it in bright red. The tape had it all: the chanting crowds, the pounding drums, the guitar building up in the background. It made me want to put on a cap, lace up some steel caps and stand in front of millions singing about how great it is to be a working man. It became the only tape that I would let my family listen to.' Bogans are a special breed and inhabit a special place in New Zealand society. They are simultaneously pop cultural icons and working-class heroes, while also prone to being noisy neighbours and childish pranksters. They are carved in black denim with mullets blowing in the wind. Bogan celebrates the culture and community that goes with being a bogan. Dave Snell, self-proclaimed Doctor of Boganology, interviews a dozen bogans from all walks of life: musicians, radio DJs, petrol-heads, an insurance salesman and a couple of boganettes. What emerges is a hard-case and at times hard-hitting picture of life in the thrash lane.
In 2012, Dave Snell completed his PhD thesis (social psychology), 'The everyday bogans: identity and community amongst heavy metal fans', investigating the use of music, clothing, and rituals in the formation of a bogan identity. This study, and the $96,000 scholarship he received towards it, continues to garner significant media interest. He has presented on the subject both nationally and internationally, including countries such as Portugal, Switzerland, and the United States. He lives in Hamilton and works at the Waikato Institute of Technology.