The Imagination of Southern Identity and Whiteness in the Southeast U.S. Craft Beer Industry

Authors: Joshua Merced*, University of North Carolina At Greensboro
Topics: Cultural Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Wine, Beer, and Spirits
Keywords: craft beer, Whiteness, naming, imagery
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Naming is paramount to positive cultural interpretation because it promotes “identification with the past and locating oneself within wider networks of memory” (Alderman 2016). The implications of race and gender are weaved into the complexity of the politics of naming, as Berg and Kearns (1996) explored in the early literature of naming in the discipline. Much of the politics draw from Rose’s (1993) “master subject,’ which is an imagined White, masculine, bourgeois positionality. Under the recognition of the social construction of race and gender, the concept of “Whiteness’ emerges in the conceptualization of identity to describe an imagined position of privilege (Jackson 1998). Mansvelt (2005) addressed the political nature of consuming commodified culture in what has been conceptualized as geographies of consumption. Building off of Marx’s ideas of commodity fetishism, it is the essence of geography to express particular interest in spatialities of consumption and “the ways in which places and spaces are connected and made meaningful through consumption”. Naming, as a pathway for consumption, is one of the ways in which the material world is organized. This study examines the role of naming and imagery actively used in modern brewery operations across the Southeast United States. A brewery naming and imagery analysis can exhibit how dominant narratives of Southern identity and Whiteness contribute to a particular consumer base.

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