Talking at Trena's: Everyday Conversations at an African American Tavern [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 ...

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Talking at Trena's: Everyday Conversations at an African American Tavern

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Overview


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, entertainment—particularly television programs—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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In a scholarly yet highly readable book, May (sociology, Univ. of Georgia) depicts the safe haven of Trena's, a tavern on the South Side of Chicago where African American men gather on a daily basis and it's clearly not just for a drink. Their camaraderie (closely observed by the author himself, who became one of the "regulars" during the 1990s) is reflected in conversations, often literally transcribed, about everyday life. 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 how they behave in various social contexts. May is rigorous in describing his methodology, but readers might be surprised that neither his narrative overview of related literature nor his bibliography includes mention of Elliot Liebow's classic Talley's Corner: A Study of Negro Streetcorner Men (LJ 6/15/67. o.p.), of which this book is very reminiscent. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Ellen D. Gilbert, Rutgers Univ. Lib., New Brunswick, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
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 how they behave in various social contexts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814761274
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2001
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 586,156
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Reuben A. Buford May is Professor of Sociology at Texas A & M University. He is the author of Talking at Trena’s: Everyday Conversations at an African American Tavern (NYU Press, 2001).

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