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Old 05-13-2009, 08:01 PM
445 posts, read 1,125,340 times
Reputation: 425


Obviously, it is a generalization, but it isn't like the notion was fabricated out of thin air...

To understand the various regional "mentalities" that exist, you have to understand various regional histories. Just as Americans can often be distinctly defined from Europeans as a result of our respective histories, people from varying geographic regions within the US often times have certan social and behavioral trends that usually result from a cocktail of micro-cultural factors (personality traits they have as a result of their upbringing at home and immediate community, which in turn is contingent on their parents background) and macro-cultural factors (personality traits that are general to a specific region, usually as a result of ethnic ethos)

Historically, the midwest has been populated by people of North(ish) and Central European extraction. The difference is, unlike Europe where generations of sealed borders caused distinct cultural differences between countries that were regionally near, the US never had such constraints and as such, our regional mentalities are much broader in scope- that is to say that the difference between a Swede and a Finn in the US is hardly noticeable, whereas it's pretty noticeable in Sweden or Finland. We are the melting pot, after all...

I think if you take the general precepts of European culture, divide it by the cornerstones of "the American way" and multiply the result of upright farm living, you have "the midwestern mentality". As with all mentalities, it's rapidly changing and varies from region to region. For example, in Minnesota, you're quite likely to find a distinctly Northern European type mentality that seems to be a confluence of soft socialism and soft libertarianism. In Chicago, mentalities trend a bit Slavic, although far, far more socialist.
Overall, I think work ethic, taste for simplicity, a finite ethical structure and an overall "I'll help you if you need it, but beyond that, leave me the hell alone" sort of ethos best typifies the "midwestern mentality".

Yes, there are huge exceptions to this, yes, there are some ethnic and racial considerations that cause the concept to drift off into tangents, but overall, when a European asks for a broad definition of the "Midwestern mentality", I think that's pretty much as close as you can get.

Chicago is kind of the defacto capitol of the midwest. It's cosmopolitan and tends to draw people who incline urbane, but it's a world away from New York or Los Angeles, I believe largely because the reasons elaborated upon above.

Last edited by PokerPlayer1; 05-13-2009 at 08:18 PM..

Old 05-13-2009, 10:00 PM
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 21,122,717 times
Reputation: 1761
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
To say there is a "midwestern mentality" is to make a sweeping generalization about millions of people. There is no "midwestern mentality". The whole concept is simply offensive. So take your generalizations and stick 'em up your @ss.
I like this post.
Old 05-13-2009, 10:36 PM
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
20,185 posts, read 19,517,037 times
Reputation: 22124
City of Carmi Illinois
I had never heard of midwestern mentality, so I went searching the term. The website I copied and pasted described the town as having a midwestern mentality and then went on to describe what to me is just a responsible conservative American citizen.
Old 05-13-2009, 10:44 PM
Location: Houston Texas
1,003 posts, read 2,064,202 times
Reputation: 244
In my opinion people from New York are way nicer!
Old 05-13-2009, 10:45 PM
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 21,122,717 times
Reputation: 1761
Who cares? Move there then. Buh-bye.
Old 05-13-2009, 11:05 PM
Location: West Hollywood
2,160 posts, read 3,771,553 times
Reputation: 1623
Originally Posted by MyssaTx View Post
In my opinion people from New York are way nicer!
.....than people from Houston.
Old 05-13-2009, 11:11 PM
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 82,786,882 times
Reputation: 29177
Am I the only one suspicious that a fresh screen name pops up inquiring about the well-worn "Midwest mentality" topic? With a screen name like "jackal" no less? And inquires only about the "Midwest mentality" even though he claims to be studying "differences in mentality between Americans coming from different parts of the United States?" If he's studying the differences in mentality between different regions, why sign up here and only ask about the mentality of one single region, particularly this one?

Seems like too convenient a setup to me.
Old 05-13-2009, 11:12 PM
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 21,122,717 times
Reputation: 1761
^ Yeah I am pretty sure we know who the guilty party is.^
Old 05-13-2009, 11:15 PM
11,971 posts, read 25,697,099 times
Reputation: 4497
Originally Posted by MyssaTx View Post
In my opinion people from New York are way nicer!
They just want to get in your pants.
Old 05-13-2009, 11:47 PM
Location: Chicago
33 posts, read 68,001 times
Reputation: 19
I am cracking up at this post. You guys are funny!
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