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Looking for meaning in all the wrong places: country music and the politics of identity

Meier, Kenneth J. 2019. Looking for meaning in all the wrong places: country music and the politics of identity. Social Science Quarterly 100 (1) , pp. 89-108. 10.1111/ssqu.12556

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Objective: This study argues that country music can be viewed in terms of identity politics that seeks to define an American identity. Methods: A textual analysis of country music songs is used to illustrate the various components of this American identity associated with the U.S. South and West. Results: Six key dimensions of the country music American identity are identified‐–the goodness of the common man, family values, patriotism, race, religion, and nostalgia. Dissenting views on several themes are also illustrated. Conclusion: U.S. country music can be viewed as the symbolic politics version of redistributive politics that defines values to be accepted and cherished as well as values to be denigrated and shunned.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0038-4941
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 December 2017
Date of Acceptance: 10 October 2017
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 16:55

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