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Yankee TwangCountry and Western Music in New England$
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Clifford R. Murphy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038679

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038679.001.0001

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Home on the Grange

Home on the Grange

The Frontier Between “American” and “Immigrant” Worldviews in New England Country and Western

(p.124) 4 Home on the Grange
Yankee Twang
Clifford R. Murphy
University of Illinois Press

This chapter traces how the rules that governed New England working-class sociability changed dramatically at country and western events. The cowboy names, the clothing, the decor, and the music worked in concert to suspend everyday rules—sociologists would call this phenomenon “alternation.” Normally used to explain how groups of people construct alternate symbolic universes, alternation relies on the use of name change, different dress, and different music in order to radically change individuals' worldview. Alternation describes the constructed frontier space of the country and western event and helps to explain how New England country and western fans of different ethnic backgrounds came to share the same space and work across difference to create a new community.

Keywords:   New England, working-class sociability, country and western events, alternation, symbolic universes, country and western fans

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