Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides an overview of country music and visual style from the genre’s inception to the present day. Examining how country music performers have navigated gender expectations in an ever-changing—and now arguably postmodern—mainstream culture, case studies of male and female performers are presented, employing their personal perspectives on visual style and comparing them to several prominent theories of social identity through fashion, antifashion, and counterculture fashion. The chapter posits some new classifications for country music visual style, attempting to define certain established country music visual images as “Hollywood western” and “western classic,” supported by established analyses of country music within a larger socioeconomic context—such as modernization and nationalization (Jeffrey Lange), mountaineer and cowboy identity (Bill C. Malone), and rusticity and authenticity (Richard Peterson).
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