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Southern Farmers and Their StoriesMemory and Meaning in Oral History$
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Melissa Walker

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124094

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124094.001.0001

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The Present Shapes Stories about the Past

The Present Shapes Stories about the Past

(p.177) Chapter Five The Present Shapes Stories about the Past
Southern Farmers and Their Stories


University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines local people's recollection of their experiences concerning the rural transformation in the American South with reference to the present. It suggests that rural southerners' telling of stories about how the past was “not like today” is a political act. It contends that their intention for doing so might be to convince the younger generation that some facets of contemporary life need altering, that they need to return to a world where people shared an ethic of care and concern and a sense of responsibility for each other.

Keywords:   rural transformation, American South, political act, younger generation, care ethics, sense of responsibility

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