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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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Talking with Southerners

Talking with Southerners

(p.69) Chapter Four Talking with Southerners
Resilience of Southern Identity

Christopher A. Cooper

H. Gibbs Knotts

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter relies on evidence from a series of focus groups. These focus groups allow us to explore southern identity in more detail and follow up on many of the themes that developed in earlier chapters. Focus-group participants included adult southerners from a variety of backgrounds—young and old, white and black, native and nonnative. The focus groups reveal many similarities about how blacks and whites think about regional identity and the South. Folkways—like hospitality, manners, pace of life, a connection to the land, and food—are key components of southern identity for both groups. Similar to chapter 3, however, this chapter identifies key differences in southern identity across the two groups. The most notable differences have to do with the ways whites and blacks talk about history, politics, and race relations.

Keywords:   Southern identity, Black southerners, Focus groups, Southern food, Southern hospitality, Southern politics, Race relations

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