The Differences Between Country, Redneck and Southern Archetypes
Why does it matter?
Well, in Oklahoma there are certain archetypes that people what to be associated with that can be seen as somewhat less desirable by the bigger population. With that said I would like to explore each of these archetypes (the good and the bad) in order to see why people stick to them or repel them.
Now, all of these archetypes are just some recognized in Oklahoma, therefore this does not apply to every place in America, nor everyone in Oklahoma. Most regions have some variant on these, but the examples I'm using are from growing up here and what have observed.
"Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson
This archetype, like most, has a gradient scale from just a little to full blown. Let us begin with the little...
The redneck usually wears some form of cammo, whether it is a John Deer hat or Ugg boots. There will be cammo, not because they were necessarily hunting this morning (which would make more sense), but because they like to look like they could have been. If the cammo isn't on the shoes then you can bet that their shoes are work boots that can be found at any country/feed store.
The next level is the motor vehicle they choose to drive. A truck of course, male or female, a truck is the best choice. They, once again, give the appearance of hard labor. The trucks are adorned in John Deer and rebel flag stickers. Some say "redneck" and some "say" redneck.
This section sounds like I'm opposed to the redneck lifestyle and I'm not for the most part. The South will rise again attitude and ignorance that seems to come with these material items, however, is somewhat off putting. The ones that live next door to me also have 1-2 trucks per member of the family and congest my street with rebel flag stickers. So, I'm a little biased.
Music choices are country and southern rock. Mostly things that stick to what they like, muddin, huntin, beer and freedom. Nothing wrong with that... Some of the lyrics are just a little extreme for my taste.
This is the hierarchy of the three archetypes we are visiting. There is class, sophistication and little down home all mixed into one. The women go from heels to boots in a matter of 24 hours. The men can wear a suit as well as they can wear a pair of Wrangler's. The Southern archetype is a paradox, but still very easy to identify.
When it comes to fashion there isn't anything completely unique to the Southern archetype, but they do seem to throw in touches of the down home part. For example, wearing $500 cowboy boots with nice jeans and a pretty blouse to a family function or for men a blazer with a button down, nice shoes and paired with blue jeans.
The motor vehicle is not set, but if it is a truck it is a nice one. It has a backseat, a giant bed and all the modern gadgets.
They belong to the Junior League and Men's Lodges. They tailgate with mimosas and steak. They are the nicest, but can be the most vindictive people you'll ever come across. Charming, rooted and sophisticated.
"That's What Country Is" Luke Bryan
This archetype falls somewhere in between the other two. The gentle, a subtleness of the Southern and the more modest means of the Redneck meet in the middle for Country.
These people are good natured, drive modest vehicles and lack the harshness of some of the Redneck ideals. They might not approve of certain things due to their religious values, but they don't put the rebel flag on their older vehicles. They listen to old and new country music, dress in old jeans and worn down t-shirts.
Country is the moderate between the two conservative archetypes. They are generally mild tempered, with a hint of the Southern guilt.
They watch sports like it's a religion and don't seem to care where the beer came from, as long as it is cold and paired with chips, homemade burgers and maybe even a cobbler for dessert.
This, according to my observations, is the most popular archetype in my neck of the woods.
There are many different types of people in certain regions of the United States. These are just some very broad statements about the different archetypes I see everyday. Of course, each person is different and fits into many different niches.
So, this was not meant to offend anyone or overly categorize people. This was a way of understanding who occupies a region and how they interact with each other.