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Download The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 4: Myth, by Charles Reagan Wilson PDF

By Charles Reagan Wilson

This quantity of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture addresses the cultural, social, and highbrow terrain of delusion, manners, and old reminiscence within the American South. comparing how a unique southern id has been created, recreated, and played via thoughts that blur the road among truth and fiction, this quantity paints a extensive, multihued photograph of the area visible during the lenses of trust and cultural perform.

The ninety five entries right here signify a considerable revision and growth of the cloth on ancient reminiscence and manners within the unique version. They tackle such concerns as myths and stories surrounding the previous South and the Civil struggle; stereotypes and traditions relating to the physique, sexuality, gender, and family members (such as debutante balls and wonder pageants); associations and areas linked to historic reminiscence (such as cemeteries, monuments, and museums); and particular matters and gadgets of myths, together with the accomplice flag and Graceland. jointly, they provide a compelling portrait of the "southern lifestyle" because it has been imagined, lived, and contested.

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Extra resources for The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 4: Myth, Manners, and Memory

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Historian C. Vann Woodward once wondered whether the southern identity would one day become like an old sweater that one could comfortably put on and take off. In fact, southerners have always “put on” a southern identity. Wearing khaki pants or overalls was a revealing fashion statement but also a prime image of social class in the rural South. Today, wearing a seersucker suit evokes a South of small-town courthouse lawyers on sweltering summer days. “Stylin’,” in the African American culture that has so influenced southern culture, involves not just clothes but also body movement, gestures, language, all presenting a self that performs cultural identity.

One rural image, the hillbilly, has not generally been a positive one, but it survives well on television and in the movies. The term itself becomes an in-group term of pride, but for those not in the group to use it courts trouble. Dolly Parton has shown how a entrepreneurial southerner can profit from employing the hillbilly image in national popular culture. A 1906 postcard depicting the cotton boll, a symbol of the South (Ann Rayburn Paper Americana Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University of Mississippi Library, Oxford) The South is the Bible Belt, an appropriate image to suggest that religion has created its own mythology.

Bush, has relentlessly identified with Texas mythology, helping him bond red-state political success, through his identification with such regional symbols as support for guns, evangelical religion, family values, and the military tradition, and even through his use of language. The term “Sunbelt” continues as a significant descriptor of southern economic development, linking the region’s booming economy with those of the Southwest and West Coast. It is less useful, though, than it was in the 1970s and 1980s as a general political and cultural term.

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