The Southern Stereotype Essay

Ever since Scarlett O’Hara struggled to happen love and Andy Taylor was elected Mayberry’s Sheriff. film makers and telecasting manufacturers have yet to lose any fancy for pigeonholing the southern civilization. There are many who despise any signifier of labeling or pigeonholing within the media. fearing false word pictures or inaccurate portraitures of southern imposts. traditions. and people.

Exposure to southern stereotypes through media is an appealing component in the American life style that can render endearing feelings. contribute echt metaphors. and provide viewing audiences with a alone and absorbing ( whether positive or negative ) glance toward a regional civilization. The mass media. or media at big. would include motion image shapers. telecasting manufacturers. intelligence plans. newspapers. wireless. magazines. or any beginning which has the capableness to present images or messages to the multitudes.

It seems to be common cognition that the mass media has inundated places all across the fruited field for decennaries with images of southern stereotypes. Ask a few twelve aliens to depict a Southerner in 60 seconds or less and the common descriptions most may hold of southern folks are moderately unsurprising. A few inside informations that come to mind when depicting a Southerner may include the undermentioned: a strong speech pattern or drawl. ignorant. lazy. a barefoot mountain individual. an inbred. a hillbilly with buck dentitions and overalls. a yokel with a pick-up truck and a gun rack. and a bootlegger with a large beer belly.

Most will besides hold that the mental figures or perceptual experiences on manus are those branded in the encephalon by the mass media. movie shapers. and theatre companies. “When you think of stereotypes. you frequently merely think of negative 1s. There are besides positive stereotypes – the South being a land of nature and keeping onto traditions. ” said Tom Hanchett. staff historiographer at the Levine Museum of the New South. ( Baldwin 1-2 ) . Hillbilly. state yokel. cracker. dawdler rubbish. and cracker are all common labels given or used to perpetuate the southern stereotype.

Notwithstanding the pattern of political rightness pullulating in today’s civilization. is considered tolerable and acceptable by film shapers and the media to roast those who may fall within the parametric quantities of what is termed as the authoritative southern stereotype. These are pointed descriptions. but they are true and the American civilization loves ( and loves to detest ) the southern stereotype and it is here to remain. Now what about those who may hold that southern stereotyped drawl? Southern speech patterns do non do one stupe ; being stupid does.

Southerners should be proud of the southern speech pattern. However. the media has managed to do discouragement among many Southerners who possess the engaging and attractive drawl. Should a visitant going to North Dakota. position a Fargo indigen as stupid or nescient because of the distinguishable accent heard there? Should a North Dakota occupant ridicule a individual from the Bronx because of the curious accent heard there? Somehow people are ashamed of their alone address patterns instead than being proud of a conversational speech pattern.

The southern stereotype will be here for a long clip to come. so love it and encompass it. Harmonizing to Jack G. Shaheen in his essay titled. “The Media’s Image of Arabs. ” Hollywood manufacturers must hold instant kits that contain dark glassess. Arab vesture. collapsible shelters. and mosques in order to supply a snapshot of Hollywood’s stereotyped Arab ( 99 ) . Undoubtedly. the same holds true when picturing the typical southern illustration. Whether one considers it right or incorrect. Hollywood. along with the mass media. has poured infinite capricious images of the southern stereotype into our civilization.

Frequently. film shapers will concentrate on unwanted features. but they are about ever based in fact. Much of what is believed to be true of today’s Southerners stem from the culture’s ancestors’ actions or beliefs. These sympathetic features have come to be accepted as widespread truths and a portion of American life. Diffused through media broadcasters over the past 50 old ages. Americans from all parts of the state have welcomed and embraced the southern type along with all the separating traditions. nutrients. beliefs. dress. folklore and superstitious notions.

Cartoons. imitations. comedy studies. telecasting commercials. advertizements. state of affairs comedies. films. columns. intelligence plans. amusing books. music. novels. and telecasting plaies have all helped to capture and commemorate this captivation of the southern stereotype. Hankering for a simpler clip. society sometimes craves the loyal. down-home qualities of the good state people. In response. the mass media relents and continues to pull partisans to those telecasting shows having southern stereotypes.

The Andy Griffith Show. possibly one of the most endearing and digesting telecasting plans of all clip. features a full dramatis personae of southern stereotypes ( yokels and bushwhackers ) and re-runs of the popular household comedy merely as popular today as they of all time were. Other popular and capturing telecasting shows focus oning on Southerners include: Hee Haw. The Beverly Hillbillies. Pettticoat Junction. Green Acres. Gomer Pyle U. S. M. C. . Matlock. In the Heat of the Night. The Waltons. and Planing Women.

Although the characters are frequently portrayed as backward. decelerate. and nescient. the shows are lined with good nature and moral lessons. Viewing audiences admire their quaint ways with a warm attitude. Joan Voight wrote an interesting piece in AdWeek Magazine sing advertisement and stereotypes. Within the article. Voight cited publicizing professional. Jim Ferguson. “Everything is excessively politically right. Humor is ever at the disbursal of person. but the lone groups you can do merriment of anymore are Texans and Italians. ” ( Voight. 17 ) .

America has become a state filled with the impression that any labeling and stereotyping should be discarded and Americans should be offered rights of protection from anything that may pique or tread on one’s beliefs. feelings. or cultural individuality. Unlike other persecuted groups. Southerners have made small effort to spread or contradict the southern stereotype within the mass media. Should Southerners take a firm stand that the media apply the same. overbearing regulations of political rightness. it may ensue in a devastation of the true and precious civilization. Doug Nye. a author for The State newspaper. cites writer John Jakes.

“Maybe it’s because Southerners merely haven’t gotten around to following ‘victimhood’ as a policy. They don’t have a lobbying group. ” Many of the southerners’ antique features such as candor. all right manners. cordial reception. gallantry. award. and baronial ethical motives could be forsaken and forgotten. ( Nye. 2 ) . Believe it or non. Elvis Presley continues to govern and specify southern tradition from the grave. Allison Graham. a professor of media and communicating surveies at the University of Memphis notes that Elvis ne’er appeased audiences with renditions of Shakespeare.

“Elvis veered dramatically from the established way to national credence. He stayed unreconstructed to the terminal of his life. ” ( Graham. 116 ) . Having been labeled as a ululation hillbilly and a hillbilly clown. Americans still embraced this southern Memphis male child and elevated him to a cultural icon. Today. infinite followings of this distinguished Southerner still flock to his Memphis homestead. go to Elvis conventions. and portray his southern manner of amusement.

Elvis is one of many who may hold fit the media’s stereotype but ignored the unfavorable judgments and pressed frontward to derive unprecedented favour with America’s civilization. Strong into the 21st century. the cracker and hillbilly phenomenon continues to boom. Jeff Foxworthy popularized the genre of southern wit with “You Might Be a Redneck. If …” gags that have a cosmopolitan attractive force with about all audiences. Mocking his ain people. Foxworthy evokes more wit than ridicule from outside entities. Another telecasting illustration is the alive telecasting show. King of the Hill. This state of affairs comedy appears realistic and true to life as a Texas household are the victims of irreverent sarcasm.

Again. telecasting authors and manufacturers have managed to capture and keep a big sing audience who find the southern stereotype capturing. Although many continue to contend against any portraiture of the southern stereotype. the hillbilly image is here to remain and it should stay within our media and civilization for many more decennaries to come. Is it possible to specify American civilization without the southern stereotype? It is a portion of America’s regional civilization. it is an appealing component to the American manner of life. and it should be both preserved and celebrated.


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