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Friday, October 11 • 2:30pm - 2:55pm
Love-Nichols: “We don’t like yer k[a:]nd”: Constructing a bigoted persona through mock redneck

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“We don’t like yer k[a:]nd”: Constructing a bigoted persona through mock redneck

This paper explores uses of mock redneck, examining the phonetic performance and indexical work of this mock variety in both interactional and media performances. I find that within both contexts, mock redneck performances are characterized by elements of the southern vowel shift, the centralization of r-colored vowels, non-standard grammatical variables such as ain’t; and exaggerated pitch peaks (Thomas 2008). In mediatized speech, this parodic performance functions to draw on and reinforce associations between a rural, white, working-class persona and the discriminatory ideological stances presented, while in interactional contexts, performances of mock redneck function to distance the speaker from stances seen as bigoted or unethical. These uses of mock redneck illustrate how linguistic forms associated with this sociolinguistic style become enregistered as indexes of racist, homophobic, and nationalistic stances, and how the parodied performance of this style can then function to minimize the impact of these ideologies.


Jessica Love-Nichols

University of California Santa Barbara

Friday October 11, 2019 2:30pm - 2:55pm PDT
EMU Gumwood
  T: Personae
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Zack Jaggers