Section from an article from the mid 80s frames the Western in class terms:
"Like other literary genres, the western continues to evoke criticism and debate. ''It has always been split between two extremes,'' said Don Graham, an associate professor of English at the University of Texas, and an authority on western writing. ''There's the bus station western, the paperback original, that's mostly a lower-middle-class literary form -the tradition of Zane Grey, of which Louis L'Amour is the chief practitioner today. Then there's western American literature, by writers like McMurtry, William Eastlake, Wallace Stegner. What's interesting is that both forms seem to be enjoying a resurgence.''