RedneckUsed either as a pejorative or as a matter of pride, the term redneck refers to the stereotypical southern U.S, rural, lower-class Caucasian. The stereotypical redneck has a beer belly, deeply conservative Dixiecrat political views, lives in a trailer, drives a pickup truck with a Rebel flag decal and gun rack in the rear window, wears baseball caps atop a mullet, and enjoys hunting, professional wrestling, NASCAR, monster truck rallies and car engine repair.
The term derives from such individuals having a red neck caused by workinging outdoors in the sunlight over the course of their lifetime. The effect of decades of direct sunlight on the exposed skin of the back of the neck not only reddens the skin, but renders the skin leathery and tough, and typically very wrinkled by late middle age.
In the 1960s, Ray Wylie Hubbard composed an anthem (later made most famous in a recording by Jerry Jeff Walker) to the breed with his song "Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother" (see motherfucker).
"Redneck" in the nominative form is often used synonymously with "bigot" or "racist" when referring to rural Caucasians presumed to harbor ethnic-based biases, esp. against blacks. The term is also an adjective with a similar application. A synonym for "redneck" is "cracker (socio-demographic)."
In South Africa, the name redneck (Afrikaans- rooinek) was applied to the British soldiers who fought during the Boer War, because their skin was sensitive to the harsh African sun. The phrase is still used by Afrikaners to describe English-speaking white people. Ironically, the term is also used by the English to describe very conservative Afrikaners because of that group's historic support of apartheid, a system of white, minority power and privilege and black and "colored" exploitation and disenfranchisement.
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, himself a southerner, native to the Atlanta area, has written several best-selling books about the stereotype, including Games Rednecks Play and the You Might Be a Redneck If series.
Author Jim Goad wrote a book titled The Redneck Manifesto that explores some of the socioeconomic history of this word and the people it is leveled at.
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