For me at least:
this is Ambivalence with a capital A.
The South is part of the southern third of the United States that wants to be part of the United States and also, doesn't.
It is a place where men are taught manners and wear suitcoats to dinner. Still.
I have often said you don't have to be dead to be important in the South, but it helps.
This is both a compliment and a curse, and there's the rub
By living in the past, the South (folks there really do spell it this way, and I mean all the time) limits itself and also makes itself special and unique. At the same time.
The term: walking contradiction may have been made famous by someone else, but it fits the South like a glove.
For those who feel this part of the United States has cornered the market on Racism, I refer you to Randy Newman and Good old boys, which is mostly about how the rest of the country doesn't get it about the South and doesn't want to own up to their own racism.
Southern Literature is its own self.