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.contributorBennett, Beth Susan
dc.contributorBagley, Meredith M.
dc.contributorBissell, Kimberly L.
dc.contributorHubbs, Jolene
dc.contributor.advisorBlack, Jason Edward
dc.contributor.authorHarrison, Vernon Ray
dc.contributor.otherUniversity of Alabama Tuscaloosa
dc.descriptionElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.abstractThis 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.en_US
dc.format.extent180 p.
dc.publisherUniversity of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.hasversionborn digital
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.rightsAll rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.en_US
dc.subjectLabor economics
dc.titleEconomic oppression and poor white worker Southern identity during the New South era: a rhetorical analysis of Henry Grady's selected speeches from 1886-1889en_US
dc.typetext of Alabama. College of Communication and Information Sciences & Information Sciences University of Alabama
Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
837.58 KB
Adobe Portable Document Format