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Southern Literature, Cold War Culture, and the Making of Modern America$
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Jordan J. Dominy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826404

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826404.001.0001

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White Working-Class Identity and US Nationalism in Twenty-First-Century Popular Texts

White Working-Class Identity and US Nationalism in Twenty-First-Century Popular Texts

Chapter:
(p.123) Epilogue White Working-Class Identity and US Nationalism in Twenty-First-Century Popular Texts
Source:
Southern Literature, Cold War Culture, and the Making of Modern America
Author(s):

Jordan J. Dominy

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496826404.003.0006

This chapter addresses recent portrayals of the US South in popular texts of the 2010s. Through the reality television program Duck Dynasty and J.D. Vance’s memoir, Hillbilly Elegy (2017), it demonstrates how Cold War intellectuals’ and authors’ influence on discourse around the term “southern” has thoroughly permeated the imagination and political sentiments of Americans. The analysis and close reading of Duck Dynasty shows how popular culture perpetuates ideas associated with southern exceptionalism into the twenty-first-century. In the fractured political climate since the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, these portrayals of southern dialect, imagery, and values become not only a shibboleth for American, democratic values of liberty, tradition, and honor, but also are coded language for white nationalism and resistance to progressive social values.

Keywords:   Duck Dynasty, Hillbilly Elegy, Reality television, White nationalism, Popular texts

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