In Signifying Snakes & Mardi Gras Runners anthropology and Southern Studies intersect, producing engaging and interesting arguments exploring how "competing interests among the keepers of a community's heritage shape how that community both regards itself and reveals itself to others."
Using several of the subcultures within the region known as the Deep South, these scholars debate and consider the issues of representation, identity, and practice within several marginalized societies including the Appalachian Pentecostal snake handlers, Cajuns, and Native Americans.
As editors Ray and Lassiter note in their introduction, people who are "stakeholders in a community" are no longer limited to insiders. Quite often, they are "outsiders -- tourists, the mass media, and even anthropologists and folklorists."
Strong arguments against compromising or denying heritages are made by the nine scholars whose work is published here.
Celeste Ray is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of the South. She is the author of Highland Heritage and editor of Southern Heritage on Display. Luke Eric Lassiter is an associate professor of anthropology at Ball State University. He's the author of Invitation to Anthropology and a coeditor of The Jesus Road.
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