Journal of American Folklore 125 (2012) tracted by the rural poor. As Wray observes, however, this reform movement focused exclusively on white communities, despite the fact that hookworm disease was common across racial lines. As part of the framework of justification for their campaign of reform, hookworm crusaders symbolically transformed the image of poor Southern whites from the tainted bloodline of the eugenicists' account into a pure Anglo-Saxon community blighted by "an African disease." if the morally degrading disease could be eliminated from the population, they argued, poor rural whites could take their place as model workers in the symbolic system of the new South. Wray's work concludes in the early part of the twentieth century, leaving a substantial gap between the conclusion of his book and the contemporary dynamics of "white trash." however, read in conjunction with works that have a more contemporary focus, such as John hartigan, Jr.'s, Odd Tribes: Toward a Cultural Analysis of White People (Duke university press, 2005), Wray's work can serve as an accessible and insightful introduction to the symbolic and social boundaries surrounding poor white communities. Alternatively, read in conjunction with classic works on immigrant whiteness such as David roediger's The
Journal of American Folklore – American Folklore Society
Published: Apr 21, 2012
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