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Resilience of Southern IdentityWhy the South Still Matters in the Minds of Its People$
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Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631059

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631059.001.0001

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The Roots of Southern Identity

The Roots of Southern Identity

Chapter:
(p.10) Chapter One The Roots of Southern Identity
Source:
Resilience of Southern Identity
Author(s):

Christopher A. Cooper

H. Gibbs Knotts

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631059.003.0002

“The Roots of Southern Identity,” grounds the book within the larger context of regional identity and social identity before turning attention directly to the issues of southern identity and southern distinctiveness. This chapter also includes original analyses, highlighting the unique role that food and politics play in the southern landscape. The chapter argues that the South remains culturally and politically distinct and that the perception of distinctiveness is a particularly important component of southern identity. In addition, the chapter examines the complicated relationship between race and southern identity. The chapter also introduces “dark side of southern identity,” a phenomenon in which politicians play on southern identity of old to prime voters to support populist, exclusionary, and even racist candidates and policies. Drawing on the social identity literature, the chapter discusses the reasons someone decides to be a member of a regional group.

Keywords:   Southern identity, Regional identity, Social identity, Southern distinctiveness, Southern food, Southern politics

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