White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America - Chapter 12: Outing Rednecks: Slumming, Slick Willie, and Sarah Palin Summary & Analysis

Nancy Isenberg
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Summary

The term redneck continued to change throughout the 1990s. The so-called “stampede toward white trash and redneck chic” (427) is referred to as slumming. A growing number of Americans seek to scrub the term redneck of its negative qualities. Instead, rednecks are regarded by this bunch as agriculturalists. Ambiguity remained in the definition, however; rednecks saw themselves as hardworking, fun-loving, and independent. The middle and upper classes saw rednecks as loud, obnoxious, bigoted and shallow. Breeding remained paramount in considerations of identity. One could not simply claim to be a redneck; it was an ingrained part of one’s identity and heritage.

Redneck transformed into a mutated gender and class identity, and women played a prominent role in the term’s transformation. Isenberg focuses on two authors, Dorothy Allison and Carolyn Chute. Both women offered unsparing accounts...

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This section contains 1,862 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Study Guide
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