Beyond Norma Rae: How Puerto Rican and Southern White Women Fought for a Place in the American Working Class (Gender and American Culture) (Paperback)

Beyond Norma Rae: How Puerto Rican and Southern White Women Fought for a Place in the American Working Class (Gender and American Culture) By Aimee Loiselle Cover Image

Beyond Norma Rae: How Puerto Rican and Southern White Women Fought for a Place in the American Working Class (Gender and American Culture) (Paperback)

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In the late 1970s, Hollywood producers took the published biography of Crystal Lee Sutton, a white southern textile worker, and transformed it into a blockbuster 1979 film, Norma Rae, featuring Sally Field in the title role. This fascinating book reveals how the film and the popular icon it created each worked to efface the labor history that formed the foundation of the film's story. Drawing on an impressive range of sources--union records, industry reports, film scripts, and oral histories--Aimee Loiselle's cutting-edge scholarship shows how gender, race, culture, film, and mythology have reconfigured and often undermined the history of the American working class and its labor activism.

While Norma Rae constructed a powerful image of individual defiance by a white working-class woman, Loiselle demonstrates that female industrial workers across the country and from diverse racial backgrounds understood the significance of cultural representation and fought to tell their own stories. Loiselle painstakingly reconstructs the underlying histories of working women in this era and makes clear that cultural depictions must be understood as the complicated creations they are.

Product Details ISBN: 9781469676135
ISBN-10: 1469676133
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication Date: November 14th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Gender and American Culture