Talking at Trena's: Everyday Conversations at an African American Tavern (Paperback)Reuben A. Buford May (author)
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Talking at Trena's is an ethnography conducted in a bar in an African American, middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's southside. May's work focuses on how the mostly black, working- and middle-class patrons of Trena's talk about race, work, class, women, relationships, the media, and life in general. May recognizes tavern talk as a form of social play and symbolic performace within the tavern, as well as an indication of the social problems African Americans confront on a daily basis.
Following a long tradition of research on informal gathering places, May's work reveals, though close description and analysis of ethnographic data, how African Americans come to understand the racial dynamics of American society which impact their jobs, entertainmentÃ particularly television programsÃ and their social interactions with peers, employers, and others. Talking at Trena's provides a window into the laughs, complaints, experiences, and strategies which Trena's regulars share for managing daily life outside the safety and comfort of the tavern.
Publisher: New York University Press
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 204 x 127 x 14 mm
"An engaging text. May shows why a space like Trena's is essential and why people become regulars."-The Southern Communication Journal
"Like Du Bois, Drake and Cayton, Liebow, and Anderson before him, Reuben May has written a key text for understanding the segregated urban spaces of the U.S. Talking at Trena's is an intimate look at racial identity and racial conflict, hegemonic masculinity, homophobia, and the reception of television culture in black communities. It is an important extension of the urban ethnographic tradition that will be widely read for many years to come."-Mitchell Duneier,author of Sidewalk and Slim's Table
"By turn sad, hilarious, shocking, and touching, these conversations are always revealing: May makes good use of them in suggesting what they tell us about how these men experience, for example, racism and class bias and ho they behave in various social contexts."-Library Journal
"A tour de force. Readers who begin this engaging and well-written book will find it hard to put down. May captures the subtle aspects of race in the everyday life of African Americans with original insights into informal social interactions in a segregated setting, and the implications of affirming racial identity in a multiracial society."-William Julius Wilson,Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University
"As we come to know the participants of this African American tavern, we see the world from their perspective, making us a little more humane and wise in the process. Reuben May, with his quick ears and careful eyes, has performed a valuable service."-Gary Alan Fine,Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University
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