Following distinguished sociologist john shelton reed

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Unformatted text preview: esearch tradition for help. This line of inquiry rests on two key assumptions. Following distinguished sociologist John Shelton Reed and others, we believe that there is a southern “otherness.” Although the South was once closer to the mainstream of the country, it began to diverge by the middle of the seventeenth century, and today, the South differs demographically, economically, politically, and, most important for our purposes, culturally.3 Second, we believe you can learn a lot about the South by examining signs of the region’s unique cultural experiences. C. Vann Woodward went “in search for southern identity” in the 1950s and found it by examining the historical and cultural experiences of southerners. Chief among these experiences was the South’s hierarchical, status-driven society. Reed took a slightly different tack, focusing on “the wealth of cultural meanings inherent in almost any aspect of the South’s popular culture, self-expressions, images, and stereotypes.” Reed found these meanings most readily in a range of symbols of th...
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