A Review of The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People, by Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017. Reviewed by Michael Potts.
Progressive ideology dominates academia, and political science is no exception. Professors Cooper and Knotts, political scientists from Western Carolina University and the College of Charleston respectively, offer a book that presents such a progressive view. This point of view taints their book with a fundamental misunderstanding of traditional Southerners. Despite providing some useful information, the book is ultimately a flawed attempt to deal with the issue of Southern identity.
Cooper and Knotts correctly point out the importance of regionalism for identity, especially in a more “globalized” world. One could argue that the current rise of both “nationalism” and regionalism is a rebellion against a perceived globalist attempt to blend people into a homogenous culture with lip service paid to a politicized notion of “diversity.” They argue that “regions” in the sense of “The South” are socially constructed entities, though including the importance of geography, food and family customs, and other social practices that change over time.
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