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Gangstagrass: Hybridity and popular culture in Justified

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This article looks at the role of two of the most iconic figures in American popular culture: the gangster and the westerner. Drawing on genre theory from film and television, the way in which the westerner has been displaced by the gangster as the most common signifier of American identity is explored, focussing specifically on the television series Justified (2010-). The southern location of the series further complicates the set of referents by mobilizing aspects of Southern Gothic. While the western and the gangster film have often been viewed as oppositional in terms of location, era and their respective musings on and articulation of American identity, this article argues that the hybridity of genres in popular culture opens up a wider space in which to address aspects of myth, history and social concerns.
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Keywords: Justified; gangster; genre; identity; television; western

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Liverpool John Moores University

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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