Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Mary Emery


Appalachian stereotypes, Ashforth and Kreiner, hillbilly, redneck, southern stereotypes, stigma


The purpose of this study is to examine television shows portraying redneck and hillbilly culture from 2010 to 2017 to examine the limitations of focusing on traditional stereotypes about southern culture when understanding the complexities of redneck and hillbilly society. According to a literature review, redneck and hillbilly characters have historically been associated with poverty, have been used as comedic symbols to portray southerners in the lower classes as jokes, and the terms have been used as insults. A thematic analysis was conducted analyzing redneck/hillbilly themed television shows from the years 2010 through 2017 to examine them for the presence of traditional stereotypes and to discuss changes in television shows over time to include nontraditional, positive stereotypes that now make-up docudrama and reality television show portrayals of rednecks and hillbillies.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rednecks in popular culture.
Mountain people in popular culture.
Southern States -- On television.
Stereotypes (Social psychology) on television.
Working class on television.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright