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The South: Culture and History: Manners, Etiquette, and Chivalry

This library guide is designed for researchers studying any topics related to the South's culture and history.

Selected Books

Manners and Southern History (2007)

Having It Y’all : The Official Handbook for Citizens of the South and Those Who Wish They Were (1993)

Growing Up Jim Crow: How Black and White Southern Children Learned Race (2006)

The Correct Thing To Do--To Say--To Wear (1919)

The Rampaging Frontier; Manners and Humors of Pioneer Days in the South and the Middle West (1939)


Search in Scout to find even more books.


Southerners are famous for their politeness, hospitality, quick friendliness, chivalry, and gentility.  Tied up in these traditions are questions like: 

How true is the belief that the South is politer and friendlier than the rest of America?

How has Southern etiquette expressed itself in the region's politics, tourist industry, dining habits, sports, holidays, literature, and film?

How have issues of race and gender affected Southern manners? 

How have Southern manners stayed the same or changed over time? 

Explore the links on this page to find the answers to these questions.



  • Academic Search Premier -Very useful for starting an article search.  Contains articles from thousands of magazines, journals, and newspapers. 
  • America: History and Life-the main database for articles about American history and culture. Finds journals for Southern history and the history of specific states.
  • Gun and Garden: Soul of the South--"A Southern lifestyle magazine that's all about the magic of the new South - sporting culture, food, music, art, literature, people, and ideas."
  • Southern Spaces--"an interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the American South and their global connection."


According to the  Oxford English Dictionary Online, chivalry is the "brave, honourable, and courteous character attributed to the ideal knight; disinterested bravery, honour, and courtesy".

Many Southern men have aspired to this ideal.  What are the good and bad aspects of chivalry?  What assumptions underlie chivalry? 

Read more about chivalry past and present:

Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (1983)

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society (2008)

American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia (2003)

The Chivalry of the South (1864)

Few More Words on the Chivalry of the South (1864)