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Main page » Fiction literature » Hillbilly A Cultural History Of An American Icon

Hillbilly A Cultural History Of An American Icon


Cultural historians have focused considerable attention in recent years on the construction of whiteness as a key to ascribing social and economic status in American society over time. Now Anthony Harkins extends the discussion of the politics of racial identity to a long-disparaged group within, but somehow not of, the dominant white culturethe hillbilly. A mythic caricature representing backwardness and degeneracy, the hillbilly image offered one of the most persistent and pervasive representations of American otherness in the twentieth century. Harkins traces the icon from its origins in the nineteenth century to its recent manifestations in movies and television, but he concentrates his analysis on the rise of hillbilly stereotypes in the popular culture of the 1930s and 1940s, especially in the commercialization of country music and in graphic cartoon images such as Snuffy Smith and Li'l Abner.

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Tags: American, hillbilly, Cultural, recent, History