Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Scott Heath

Second Advisor

Dr. Gina Caison

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Schmidt


The struggle for cultural intelligibility can be clearly articulated through intersections between race, class, and socioeconomic status. Judith Butler demystifies the societal symbols responsible for denoting gender through a discussion of a stable “reality” in relation to performativity. When superimposed over Butler’s gender work, class stratifications and their relevance to cultural intelligibility reflect similar concerns presented in Butler’s work. In this work, I argue that through subversive use of black female archetypes presented by Patricia Hill Collins, strategic language, and flamboyant displays of tangible wealth, characters on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta consciously perform class to resist the policing of social boundaries and to highlight their position within liminal social spaces. However, as a result of their performativity, these women violate the liminal space by patrolling class boundaries from within their social circle.

Available for download on Saturday, July 20, 2019