Power and Powerlessness in an Appalachian Valley – Revisited
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With the rise of Trump support in rural Appalachia – the coal mining, mountainous region in the heartland of the eastern United States – media and other commentators have rushed to explain this conservative politics in ‘exceptionalist’ terms, largely based on cultural stereotypes. Revisiting my work on Power and Powerlessness in an Appalachian Valley (1980), I argue that the attention to ‘Trumpism’ fails to see or take into account the widespread rural resistance which exists in the region, historically and presently. A focus on the rise of place-based grassroots activism and scholarship in the region offers a more emancipatory view of rural politics.