The Melungeon Identity Movement and the Construction of Appalachian Whiteness:

Anita Puckett

Racial classification in the United States is ultimately binary, categorizing individuals as "white" or "nonwhite." How this binary system is discursively constituted depends upon the ways in which elements of a repertoire interconnect to distribute or consolidate power and privilege across discursive contexts. Circulation of the revitalized lexeme Melungeon as a valued "object" within Appalachian discourse reveals linguistic processes by which white racial privilege is constructed and expanded, mixed-race classification excluded, and nonwhite disenfranchisement reproduced.

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