– The purpose of this paper is to examine the subculture of Southern Mardi Gras society in coastal Mississippi and Alabama.
– Participant observation was used to explore the subculture as well as depth interviews with 42 informants who participated in Mardi Gras societies and/or balls.
– The findings demonstrate that social identity theory is supported in Southern Mardi Gras society and that elements of racial divide, social stratification, and fixity of residence continue to support this subculture.
– While most who are aware of Mardi Gras traditions associate it solely with New Orleans, this paper presents the rich subculture of Mardi Gras societies that extends along the upper Gulf Coast region of the USA. Tied to tourism in this region, these practices are explored for the nuances of this subculture and the Mardi Gras event myth.