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The Southern Rock Revival

The Old South in a New World

Jason T. Eastman

While some people find new opportunities in the postindustrial economy, many working-class men find their social and economic well-being collapse as blue-collar jobs are outsourced and offshored to the global labor market. Faced with limited options to earn a living-wage, many of these blue-collar workers are instead changing who they are, embracing a deviant, rebellious identity expressed by the contemporary southern rock revival musicians studied in this book. Although loosely based in the traditional culture and lifestyle of the southeastern United States, contemporary southerness has little to do with region but instead is a way to rebel from the very institutions blue-collar men traditionally used as the basis of their masculine pride: family, education, employment, military service, and religion. This contemporary form of southerness reflected in their music also involves deviance, as many of these men adorn themselves with the highly controversial confederate flag, binge drink alcohol, brawl with one another and use drugs. Combining interviews, participant observation and a lyrical analysis, this book explores these aspects of rebellious southerness through music as it exists in the ideal sense and as individual men try to live up to these subcultural ideals in their daily lives. The southern rock revival is a new social movement carving out a place for an alternative way to live while simultaneously perpetuating stereotypes about poor men, reinforcing social disadvantage and marginalization. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 224Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-1-4985-3113-9 • Hardback • March 2017 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4985-3114-6 • eBook • March 2017 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
Jason T. Eastman is assistant professor of sociology at Coastal Carolina University.
8Rebel Men’s Gambling and Drinking as Deviant Risk-Taking
9Southern Rebel Brawls
10Drugs and Protests of the Criminal Justice System
11Rebelling From Religion
12Southerness as Whiteness
Studying rock musicians is an ideal way to examine southern white male rebel identity. Eastman has demonstrated a sensitivity to the complexities northern scholars sometimes miss.
Rebecca Adams, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Co-Editor of Deadhead Social Science

Jason Eastman’s detailed ethnography is an authoritative analysis of the intricacies, distinctions, and contradictions within Southern rock music. He not only provides a nuanced portrayal of the musicians and the varied meanings of their songs but, moreover, offers new insights about what it means to be southern and to embrace rebel masculinity. Yet, as Eastman shows, these meanings have stretched far beyond the South and reach across the globe. This book is a must read for students of gender, social class, culture, and rock music. The Southern Rock Revival is an extraordinary contribution that social scientists and musicians will discuss and debate for years to come.
Kathy Charmaz, Sonoma State University