The Manifestation of Southern White Identity in Southeastern Conference (SEC) Football Open Access

Wayne, Christian (2017)

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This work examines the football teams of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and how they are reflections, projections, and bastions of southern white identity. By exploring a history of how a southern, white identity was created in the American South, we can understand how and why football became the cultural institution it is in today's American South throughout the twentieth century and into present-day. By understanding this, the paper aims to explore how today's fans, higher educational administrators, students, and players should be using this understanding of southern white culture's tie to SEC football to help create a better system of college athletics. After laying out an argument in conjunction with a historiography of these topics, the paper uses a case study on the University of Mississippi - a school known for its racial conflicts on campus surrounding Confederate symbolism and iconography. The University of Mississippi is the SEC school most known for its ties to Confederate symbolism and southern white culture. How it has dealt with those ties provides other schools with an idea of how we can confront these problems at hand.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Don't Get Married on a Fall Saturday - Page 1

Chapter 1 - Foundations of Southern White Identity - Page 5

Chapter 2 - History of Southern Football - Page16

Chapter 3 - Black Athletes in the System of College Football - Page 41

Chapter 4 - The Rebels of Mississippi - Page 57

Epilogue - Page 88


Figure 1 - Page 25

Picture of Confederate Battle Flag at University of Mississippi from University of Mississippi Libraries

Figure 2 - Page 26

Picture of Confederate Battle Flag at University of Florida from University of Florida Digital Collections

Figure 3 - Page 63

Picture of 1947 Ole Miss cover from University of Mississippi Digital Yearbook Collection

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