Economic oppression and poor white worker Southern identity during the New South era: a rhetorical analysis of Henry Grady's selected speeches from 1886-1889

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dc.contributor Bennett, Beth Susan
dc.contributor Bagley, Meredith M.
dc.contributor Bissell, Kimberly L.
dc.contributor Hubbs, Jolene
dc.contributor.advisor Black, Jason Edward
dc.contributor.author Harrison, Vernon Ray
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-01T16:34:30Z
dc.date.available 2017-03-01T16:34:30Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0001023
dc.identifier.other Harrison_alatus_0004D_11136
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/1507
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract This study situates the constituted rhetorical identity of poor Southern white workers during the New South era. Specifically, this project argues that journalist and politician Henry Grady helped create a mythic image of the poor white Southern worker as both industrious and a victimized hero of the unregulated economic system of American capitalism, while simultaneously constituting a mythic villain of Northern economic and industrial systems. Theoretically, this study employs mythic criticism to deconstruct three selected speeches given by Henry Grady, from 1886-1889: the "New South" speech, his "Against Centralization" speech, and his "Farmers and the Cities" speech. The outcome of this critical analysis complicates widely held conceptions of whiteness theory in public address and rhetorical studies. This study challenges whiteness constructs in public address and rhetorical studies based on realities of class and wealth distinctions within the American economic system. Specifically, this study engages Material Marxist Dialectic to show that there was a palpable class struggle among, and exploitation of, the poor white class in the South during the Gilded Age. This study argues that the poor white Southern worker faced difficulties in achieving the American Dream myth. Therefore, Grady offered a counter mythic construction of a hardworking and victimized poor white Southern worker to balance the American Dream myth sold by the economic elite of America. Following from Gilded Age contexts and the mythic structures that Grady promoted, this study posits that class must be taken into account when studying whiteness and that whiteness is not an immutable category of privilege based solely on race.
dc.format.extent 180 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Communication
dc.subject.other Rhetoric
dc.subject.other Economics, Labor
dc.title Economic oppression and poor white worker Southern identity during the New South era: a rhetorical analysis of Henry Grady's selected speeches from 1886-1889
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. College of Communication and Information Sciences
etdms.degree.discipline Communication & Information Sciences
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level doctoral
etdms.degree.name Ph.D.


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