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In this pioneering study of what it means to be Southern, John Shelton Reed uses a survey to examine Southerners as an ethnic group. He finds that such experiences as urban residence, travel, education, and media exposure generally erode such traditional attitudes as ethnocentrism, racism, fatalism, localism, authoritarianism, xenophobia, and resistance to innovation. At the same time, however, Reed shows that these modernizing experiences heighten regIonal consciousness among Southerners. Reed concludes that "despite mass society, Southerners are and apparently will remain 'different'; because of [mass society], they will remain aware of their difference." In this, he writes, Southerners are like other cultural minorities in American society.
In Keywords for Southern Studies, editors Scott Romine and Jennifer Rae Greeson have compiled an eclectic collection of new essays that address the fluidity of southern studies by adopting a transnational, interdisciplinary focus. The essays are structured around critical terms pertinent both to the field and to modern life in general. The nonbinary, nontraditional approach of Keywords unmasks and refutes standard binary thinking—First World/Third World, self/other, for instance—that postcolonial studies revealed as a flawed rhetorical structure for analyzing empire. Instead, Keywords promotes a holistic way of thinking that begins with southern studies but extends beyond.
Peter Slade examines Mission Mississippi's model of racial reconciliation (which stresses one-on-one, individual friendships among religious people of different races) and considers whether it can effectively address the issue of social justice. Slade argues that Mission Mississippi's goal of "changing Mississippi one relationship at a time" is both a pragmatic strategy and a theological statement of hope for social and economic change in Mississippi.
Southern-style politics was one of those peculiar institutions that differentiated the South from other American regions. This system -- long referred to as the Solid South -- embodied a distinctive regional culture and was perpetuated through an undemocratic distribution of power and a structure based on disfranchisement, malapportioned legislatures, and one-party politics. It was the mechanism that determined who would govern in the states and localities, and in national politics it was the means through which the South's politicians defended their region's special interests and political autonomy. The history of this remarkable institution can be traced in the gradual rise, long persistence, and ultimate decline of the Democratic Party dominance in the land below the Potomac and the Ohio. This is the story that Dewey W. Grantham tells in his fresh and authoritative account of the South's modern political experience. The distillation of many years of research and reflection, is both a synthesis of the extensive literature on politics in the recent South and a challenging reinterpretation of the region's political history.
The monograph looks at the literary representation of race relations in the American South from 1890 to 1940. Literary texts by Southern white and black authors form part of a complex discourse of race that incorporates historical, economical, social, and literary practices. In four historical periods the increasing opposition to the prevalent discourse of race is delineated. Each chapter covers four interlocked areas: 1. The grounding of the literary discourse of race in the economic and political developments. 2. The changes in the representation of the black 'Other' by white writers. 3. The tactics of subversion and resistance through 'black sounds' that established a counterhegemonic discourse. 4. The role of women writers and their attempts at undermining the patriarchal discourse.

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