This book is the first study of "hard" country music as well as the first comprehensive application of contemporary cultural theory to country music. The author compares hard country music to mainstream country music and to "high" culture, arguing that hard country deliberately focuses on its low position in the American cultural hierachy, comically singing of failures to live up to American standards of affluence, while mainstream country music focuses on nostalgia, romance, and patriotism of regular folk, buying into the standards of "higher" culture.

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