Caviar and Fish Sticks

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Abstract

The cultural identity of America is deeply entrenched in the history of country music. Beginning as an oral tradition most associated with rural hillbillies, American country music is often seen as the music of the conservative, white, poor, rural, and working and middle classes. The simplicity of the music and lyrics, coupled with costumes to reflect hillbilly and cowboy imagery, may lead to a perception that country music lacks depth and seriousness. Country music, at its core, has a nature of questioning the status quo and highlighting the common human experience. It presents a critical opportunity to give voice to a marginalized population and understand the history of rural America, for understanding the shared human experience, and to engage the critical consciousness and counternarrative of new generations. Despite this, country music still lacks credibility as a uniquely American art form in academic circles and deserves increased scholarly inquiry.