On the environmental embeddedness of redneck identity and politics: the Original Redneck Fishin' Tournament and invasive species in a rural community.
Here, we examine the environmental embeddedness of redneck identity and politics. To do so, we use data from 22 in-depth, semi-standardised interviews and participant observation from several rural Illinois River communities whose citizens have had to confront, interpret, and adapt to the arrival of Asian carp, an invasive species that has significantly altered life in the region. Moreover, some community members now organise the 'Original Redneck Fishin' Tournament', an annual event geared toward challenging the continued invasion of Asian carp. We use this tournament as a window into the manner self-identified redneck communities negotiate the co-constitutive cultural, political, and material dynamism of local environmental relationships. Findings reveal a great diversity of nuanced ways a specifically redneck identity, politics, and environmental embeddedness build through each other, relationships that must be furthermore contextualised within broader socioenvironmental histories of state and urban interventions upon rural life.