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Old 10-01-2013, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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This is purely anecdotal, and has generalizations. But how could one talk about cultural similarities between two regions without making some anecdotes and generalities?

Based on a discussion on the Seattle board, I noticed a number of cultural differences between the West Coast vs East Coast populations.


East Coast:

More british influence
Families have been in the USA much longer. Many families can trace their USA immigration back hundreds of years.

More individualistic. The East Coast put more emphasis on splitting from your family and friends and making your own way. Seen more generations ago, where kids would often move away to other cities/states to start their own families

More distinctive USA culture. This is probably due to the British influence, and having more historical landmarks that date back to the beginning of the country.




West Coast:

More Latin/non-British influences

Historical landmarks are more influenced by Spain than colonial British.

Population puts less emphasis on individualism. Seems to be more emphasis on circles

Population is younger. Less people have American generations that span beyond a few generations

Less emphasis on Americanism and Patriotism. Not to say it doesn't exist on the West, but certainly less pronounced.


Is this assessment of the different cultural traits concerning people on both coast accurate. Have anyone noticed other values more pervasive on each coast.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:42 PM
 
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I'd say those are pretty good overall.

Definitely agree on the patriotism comment - I really do think it's stronger in the East.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
Less emphasis on Americanism and Patriotism. Not to say it doesn't exist on the West, but certainly less pronounced.
Patriotism i agree. except for the OC.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Good observations.

My observation is that the East Coast feels more steeped in traditions/history and has more of a "stable" feel. However, it can also be somewhat insular and "staid."

On the other hand, while the West seems less established, but it is also more innovative/forward-looking, which is a very positive attribute in my book.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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East Coast is older thus more tendency for provincialism, which can be annoying. Very few places willing to embrace the progressiveness like the West does.

The American West historically was a place where all the outcasts went. Northeast cities were very much about power, status and wealth (things dont change much do they?) and the West was where the "crazies" or religious outcasts went. It was the frontier. If you didnt fit in the Northeast, you probably went out West. More liberal, open-minded, live and let live, which is surely still the same. It was one massive Las Vegas back in the day out West, in a lot of cities.

Gold Rush helped.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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The East Coast also had the waves of immigrants from Europe , which reached a tidal wave in the late 1890s-1920s, and consequently its cities became a smorgasboard of languages and cultures; much of this was absent on the still fairly undeveloped West Coast ( exception being San Francisco)...

The architecture on the East Coast is ancient, small and extremely crowded in comparison to the West Coast. Triple-deckers (Boston), brownstones and tenements ( NYC) , and rowhouses (Philly, Baltimore and Wash DC) all contributed to a very congested atmosphere, while LA ( and California in general) is the shining example of the growth of the split -level suburb, with plenty of room for everyone..

And speaking of "shining", there's the ever present CA sunshine, in direct contrast to the gloom and doom of East Coast weather...
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
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Another difference to point out is there's a stronger sense of ethnicity and ethnic neighborhoods like Irish/Italian/Polish/PuertoRican/Jamaican/etc type of neighborhoods that are not common out here on the West Coast, becuase the groups mixed together going West.

The Class structure is also more fluid on the West Coast compared to the East Coast. There's more self made millionaires out West compared to Old Money WASPs on the East.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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I agree with what a lot is said but I disagree about individualism. Obviously we are generalizing here but I found the west to be more individualistic than the east
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,383,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
This is purely anecdotal, and has generalizations. But how could one talk about cultural similarities between two regions without making some anecdotes and generalities?

Based on a discussion on the Seattle board, I noticed a number of cultural differences between the West Coast vs East Coast populations.

East Coast:

More british influence
Families have been in the USA much longer. Many families can trace their USA immigration back hundreds of years.

More individualistic. The East Coast put more emphasis on splitting from your family and friends and making your own way. Seen more generations ago, where kids would often move away to other cities/states to start their own families

More distinctive USA culture. This is probably due to the British influence, and having more historical landmarks that date back to the beginning of the country.

West Coast:

More Latin/non-British influences

Historical landmarks are more influenced by Spain than colonial British.

Population puts less emphasis on individualism. Seems to be more emphasis on circles

Population is younger. Less people have American generations that span beyond a few generations

Less emphasis on Americanism and Patriotism. Not to say it doesn't exist on the West, but certainly less pronounced.


Is this assessment of the different cultural traits concerning people on both coast accurate. Have anyone noticed other values more pervasive on each coast.
I'd say I have to disagree with just about every one of your statements here. The reason there are more ethnic enclaves on the East Coast is because they're the more recent emigrants from those places. The East Coast has been populated longer than the West Coast, but where do you think the people who settled the west came from? They came from the east coast. They were those people you claim are more individualistic, and split from their families and moved west. The colonial families with remnants still remaining on the east coast are the ones who never picked up and went anywhere.

I'm a genealogist, and my ancestors were long gone from the East Coast by the early 1800s. I'm often astounded when I look at some of the places where my ancestors had settled in the early 1600s, and there are no people of those surnames still living there. They've all left. And spread out west, across the country.

The East Coast was settled, founded, and peopled by British colonists. Almost 200 years later, they became Americans. The West Coast was settled by Americans. Wouldn't that make the West more distinctively American culturally?

Sure, there are more Latin influences on the West Coast. That is, if the West Coast ends at San Francisco. North of there, none whatsoever. From San Francisco northward to Alaska, it was the British, Russian and French-Canadian fur traders which were the more influential cultures, nothing of Latin whatsoever.

As for Foreign-born residents, here are the 15 top states with foreign-born residents, and the percentage:
27.1 CA
22.2 NY
21.3 NJ
19.4 FL
19.2 NV
18.2 HI
16.5 TX
14.9 MA
13.9 IL
13.7 MD
13.6 DC
13.5 RI
13.4 WA
13.4 AZ
13.3 CT

and the other states (ranked lower than that) on each coast:
11.1 VA
9.6 GA
9.5 OR
8.6 DE
7.3 NC
6.2 AK
5.9 PA

It's clear that foreign immigrants live on both coasts.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:05 AM
 
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I disagree about the individual aspect on the east coast that the OP stated. People do not split ties with family and friends and just takeoff, at least not here in the South anyway. People down here are very tied to family, Southern Culture I guess.

I think the East Coast has more diversity, much more different cultures are here, and different political persuasions as well. even also have more black people too. It also has more history. The West Coast seems to be better "connected " I'd say, at least with technology anyway. They also seem a bit more laid back, down side is that I find many of them to be less outgoing (not a bad thing necessarily) but just in general less friendly. Definitely more materialistic too.

Not much on the West Coast besides LA (Eww... imo). Sure I guess you have Seattle, but other than that not a lot happens.
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