This book contextualizes the declaration “anything but country” and challenges both the conventional wisdom that renders the provincial white working class America's perpetual bigot class and the presentism—the static framing and historical forgetting—on which it depends. I examine working-class cultural repertoires, with particular focus on gender and sexuality, from a dual perspective drawing on Bourdieusian empirical research and on historical and critical analysis of American country music. Through these inquiries, I historicize the contemporary construction of the white working class as severe and intolerant in realms of gender and sexuality. I argue that the working-class homophobe is a construct with a specific history, and I chart its rise from the 1970s to the present.
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