Repelling the "rutter": Social differentiation among rural teenagers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper examines low-income white rural teenagers' management of race and class-based inequality. It analyzes how these teenagers constructed boundaries to distinguish themselves from outsiders, but also to distinguish themselves from the local abject category of "rutter." The findings reveal hidden interconnections between race and class in interactional practice, and highlight local processes of differentiation through which actors attempt to deflect stigma and attain credibility. The paper discusses how interactional mechanisms such as "internal othering" and "stigma-theory" bolster race and class credibility, but reproduce inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-320
Number of pages20
JournalSymbolic Interaction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Boundary work
  • Micro processes of inequality
  • Race-class intersections
  • Rural poverty
  • Stigma
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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