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Old 01-31-2014, 10:09 PM
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 918,177 times
Reputation: 306


All parts of the United States are equally American by default. The beaches of Hawaii and rural Alabama may be so different, but none is more or less American than midtown Manhattan or the Ozarks or a booming oil town in the Dakotas.

I hear some people denounce other parts of the country as feeling less "real American" than other parts. Why do people feel the need to claim this? Is it the idea that places that are more recently settled, have more transplants etc. have less of a strong character?
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:45 PM
56 posts, read 63,096 times
Reputation: 92
I think the media are trying to characterize America as white or black, full of muscle cars, and rural.

Cosmopolitan areas are NOT considered "American", even though, as you stated earlier, they are by definition "American."
I am actually of Indian descent (but I was born and brought up in this country). I feel no less American than other White or Black Americans, even though people ask me, "Where are you from?" When I answer, "Silver Spring, MD", they ask me again, "No, but where are you REALLY from?"

It gets old. Also, some people try to characterize America as "English-speaking," but there are some parts of the country that mostly speak Spanish or even French (as in places in Maine or Vermont). I don't think one area is more American than the other. If you saw the Coke ad for the Super Bowl, it really made me feel like I was a part of the country, despite my skin color and the languages I know (I know English and Spanish fluently, a bit of Hindi and Tamil, and a bit of Chinese). Also, my family drives Hondas (which were actually built in Indiana, I believe). I'm American, even though I'm from the diverse suburbs of DC.

Last edited by wisvishr0; 02-03-2014 at 06:46 PM.. Reason: media is plural
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:58 PM
1,709 posts, read 1,729,328 times
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It's all about perspective, really. People tend to pick what they like about the place they live and correlate it with things they like about the country. They see where they live as "American" because they identify "American" characteristics as dealing with home, which they then apply to their own individual home.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:44 PM
12,870 posts, read 10,962,349 times
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The stereotypical "America" (especially to foreigners, I think) is the idea of rural small towns, cars, patriotism, and I think of religion and conservatism but that may just be me. The stereotypical America is often the Midwest.

In reality, a small town in Kansas is not much different than a small town in New Jersey. New York City may be large, diverse, and a lot to handle for many but it doesn't make it any less American. It encompasses a different common idea of America - a nation of hard working immigrants who work for a better life for their children, the American dream. I guess it depends on how you view America but at the end of the day it IS all the same. It's not like any state is more "American" than another. There are small suburban towns, rural areas, and large cities everywhere in the US.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:02 AM
372 posts, read 644,010 times
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I don't know why either, but I think it's more that the diversity is different now. I've even heard old New Yorkers say New York was more American in the 50's, and I think it was because then all the Imigrant groups were pretty assimilated and that it seemed to have its focus more on america then on being a world city.

To me America is diversity. Anywhere in America is America. Being cosmopolitan doesn't make a city non-american. Sure New York or LA or SF might like to be considered world cities, but they still have an American character. If you lose that national character what's the point?
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:52 AM
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,827 posts, read 19,244,959 times
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I think that knowing less about ones own (total) country and the world around us makes one more likely to self identify in a nationalistic way. Ignorance about the world around us also fosters misunderstanding and fear which contributes to a reaffirming self image built around a presumed superior national identity as "American".
That's just my opinion based on being well travelled and having lived in (or having relatives living in) all distinct quadrants of this country outside of Hawaii and Alaska.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:53 AM
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,762 posts, read 18,404,922 times
Reputation: 31935
There is definitely a 'real' America. Politicians refer to it all the time and they wouldn't lie, would they? Would they turn one American against another? I don't think so. That would be patently un-American.
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