Appalachian stereotypes

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Appalachian Americans face a number of negative stereotypes, most notably that of the "hillbilly." Negative stereotypes are often perpetuated through film, television, and news outlets.

Appalachian discrimination[edit]

Discrimination against Appalachian Americans is significant enough that some municipalities such as Cincinnati have enacted laws making it illegal to discriminate against peoples of Appalachian identity. Appalachians can face discrimination in employment due to a variety of prejudicial assumptions.

Slurs against Appalachian Americans[edit]

Derogatory language against Appalachian Americans includes the terms "redneck" and "hillbilly," both which can be applied to people of any race, gender, or sexual orientation. These terms often come up in comedic use, such as "you might be a redneck if..." jokes, stereotyped as the role of the "hillbilly fool." Some authors argue that Appalachian Americans form an ethnic identity and such jokes should be considered racist, other individuals feel that Appalachian regional identity shouldn't be grounds for such claims, and self-humor about stereotypes is acceptable.

Representations of Appalachian Americans in popular culture[edit]

  • The Beverly Hillbillies are of course the quintessential Appalachian stereotypes, despite being Ozarkian (excepting Granny Moses from Appalachian Tennessee), who arrive in Beverly Hills never having seen a telephone or electricity before.
  • The Duke boys in the feature-film version of the The Dukes of Hazzard state that "actually, we prefer to be called Appalachian Americans" when a group of urban (Atlantan) African Americans calls them "hillbillies" in response to their Confederate flag and perceived blackface.