Faculty Publications

Title

Identity construction among confederate civil war reenactors: A study of dress, stage props, and discourse

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Civil war, Confederate, Identity construction, Reenacting, Whiteness

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Clothing and Textiles Research Journal

Volume

21

Issue

4

First Page

149

Last Page

161

Abstract

Despite the fact that the U.S. Civil War ended over 135 years ago, the Confederacy still resonates at a symbolic level for many Americans, particularly reenactors who claim they interpret history for public appreciation. This research suggests, however, that there was more than presentation of history occuring among Confederate reenactors. Examining Confederate reenactors from the perspective of Goffman's (1959) work on construction of identity, elements of their identity, as developed through presentation of self, were actually symbolic manifestations of discomfort with the eroding condition of white hegemony in the United States. Since these expressions of whitenesswere embedded within the pageantry of a widely accepted public pastime, Confederate reenactors were essentially able to veil their protestations symbolically and keep them publicly palatable.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2003

DOI of published version

10.1177/0887302X0402100401

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