The Dukes of Hazzard and the South

by Colin Burke

Initially airing in 1979 the television show The Dukes of Hazzard was a comedy sitcom that was based within the South, more specifically Georgia. The show then went on to become wildly popular which led to many people seeing its depiction of the South. Because of the sheer amount of people who saw this show its vision of the South while not entirely realistic became incredibly influential.  Most people today could also probably still name the iconic orange 1969 Dodge Charger with the Confederate Flag on it as the General Lee. In fact, even to this day if you type in “General Lee” into google the car will come up instead of the Civil War general Robert E. Lee after which it was named. Within the wildly influential view of the South within the show it mainly focused on the antics of of two very country cousins both with the last name Duke in Hazzard county. Many other characters are also given very stereotypical redneck names such as Cletus or Cooter. Many of them are portrayed as good ole boy characters who also are rebellious by going against the “system” or the law. The show also leaves out middle and upper class people depicting only the most country of the South who get involved with this crew. On top of that, race is also left out with almost no black characters ever being depicted within the show. This all leads to the South being shown as a far simpler place where you can get away with more because everyone knows each other. The whole point of the show was to stereotype the South to the extreme which it was very successful at doing. The show did this so well that the General Lee became infamous along with this stereotyped view of the South which stuck to the region for a while.

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