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Old 10-27-2009, 08:09 PM
 
4,828 posts, read 5,378,570 times
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Default Northern cities versus southern cities: different personalities?

Theres been many threads about the difference between northern cities and southern cities (big and small) and about the differences between the mannerisms and personality.

People often point out that northeasterners/Great Lakes natives are more direct, brusque, "no-nonsense" and come off as aggressive to southerners (and western city locals). Meanwhile southerners (and to some extent westerners) come across as friendly, "without being sincere" and never really no what they think.

While these are stereotypes, they do have some truth to it.

I think the differences between northeast and Great Lakes metro areas have different personalities for a number of reasons, but one reason I think is important to note, is a difference in heritage.

In metro areas like Boston, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Philly, Pittsburgh, etc. even many/most white people are of an ethnic background that is semi-minority in a way. Italian, Jewish, Polish, Irish, other eastern European all had more hardship, discrimination and less opportunity. Whereas maybe in the west and south, many more white people are more of english, German, and other more WASPY type background.

This means that maybe in the Northeast tier, even most white people had to "fight" for their place through the generations and display a brusque and somewhat more aggressive, and defensive of their economic success (for example: in the Chicago area, it seems most of the Polish-American people have some of that "Obama is turning the U.S. socialist fear, and don't beat around the bush saying it). But at the same time deep down are somewhat socially liberal because there is an awareness that they were once minorities.

What do you think. I know its a generalization. But I do have a sense that: Cultural groups that are, or have been more "minority" are more often than not to have an "attitude" than those groups that haven't experienced that in the last few generations. And in the traditionally more industrial cities of the Northeast/Great Lakes (especially Great Lakes, because there never was much WASPY elite like their was in Boston, etc.) are dominated by people of this background.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,465 posts, read 26,848,139 times
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That might be so in those Southern regions of the 'North-East', they may be more 'direct, brusque, "no-nonsense" and come off as aggressive'. But here in Northern New England, it is not so.

The predominate ethnic background here is French.

We do not have much Italian, Jewish, Polish, Irish, Eastern European, or German backgrounds.

97% white and the only background I have heard of really is French.

I am new to the North-East, so I am just an observer in this. My parents were 'okies'. Of my two family trees one was all in Missouri going back to 1790; we have not been able to trace it to which boat they came across on. While the other was in Oklahoma going back to the land-rush era, before that it is traced to the Mayflower.

I think that your generalizations of the 'North-East' [though focused on Southern portions of North-East] are accurate only if you include 'urban' into the title.

It certainly does not describe rural communities at all.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,832 posts, read 18,908,172 times
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I've noticed the difference between Dallas and Houston is that people from Dallas seem to be more loud, upfront, and more sociable compared to Houstonians. Austinites are more sociable than both and have a laid-back attitude; kind of like people from SoCal.

If you're familiar with these cities; you'd notice the attitudes can be pretty different between them. All three of these cities have that feel of superiority over the rest of Texas; including San Antonio. Austinites don't even like to relate themselves to the rest of Texas.

You also have the Texans who don't consider themselves southern and consider it to be an insult to be called one. When people from LA came over during the Katrina era. Lots of Texans referred to them as "trashy" or "rednecks". That's when many people from LA started claiming Texans are stuck-up.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:17 AM
 
5,135 posts, read 4,175,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Theres been many threads about the difference between northern cities and southern cities (big and small) and about the differences between the mannerisms and personality.

People often point out that northeasterners/Great Lakes natives are more direct, brusque, "no-nonsense" and come off as aggressive to southerners (and western city locals). Meanwhile southerners (and to some extent westerners) come across as friendly, "without being sincere" and never really no what they think.

While these are stereotypes, they do have some truth to it.

I think the differences between northeast and Great Lakes metro areas have different personalities for a number of reasons, but one reason I think is important to note, is a difference in heritage.

In metro areas like Boston, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Philly, Pittsburgh, etc. even many/most white people are of an ethnic background that is semi-minority in a way. Italian, Jewish, Polish, Irish, other eastern European all had more hardship, discrimination and less opportunity. Whereas maybe in the west and south, many more white people are more of english, German, and other more WASPY type background.

This means that maybe in the Northeast tier, even most white people had to "fight" for their place through the generations and display a brusque and somewhat more aggressive, and defensive of their economic success (for example: in the Chicago area, it seems most of the Polish-American people have some of that "Obama is turning the U.S. socialist fear, and don't beat around the bush saying it). But at the same time deep down are somewhat socially liberal because there is an awareness that they were once minorities.

What do you think. I know its a generalization. But I do have a sense that: Cultural groups that are, or have been more "minority" are more often than not to have an "attitude" than those groups that haven't experienced that in the last few generations. And in the traditionally more industrial cities of the Northeast/Great Lakes (especially Great Lakes, because there never was much WASPY elite like their was in Boston, etc.) are dominated by people of this background.
.. I agree with some of this, but not all.

As far as the ethnic backgrounds are concerned, there is quite a German presence in the Great Lakes area, especially in Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and Minn-St. Paul; the entire state of Wisconsin certainly has a "beer and brats" culture this is difficult to miss. In addition, many of these immigrants were Catholic, so you could include them in the mix, as well.

Many Great Lakes cities, were actually founded by WASPs from NY state and New England ( Pillsbury in Minneapolis, etc), but they were soon overwhelmed by European immigration in the 19th century that they became the minority population.

Politically speaking,many of these immigrants were originally part of the working-class industrial proletariat, but now they have gone to college, left the old ethnic enclaves in the cities ( Little Poland, Little Italy, etc), and have moved out to the suburbs. They have acquired money, dropped some of the ages-old customs, and perhaps changed political parties. In their minds, they have moved "up and out", and changed their thinking to accommodate these desires.

Just a few ideas..
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:18 AM
 
26 posts, read 43,395 times
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Mid-westerners are less friendly for sure. As a customer service agent I learned the different regional personalities. Southerners are definitely more friendly, more talkative, more polite. Californians all have temperamental "witch" attitudes, as do Oregonians. New Mexicans are very friendly and smiley. Here in Colorado the difference between the northern part of the state and the southern is marked. Southern Colorado is more like New Mexico in this respect and in northern urban centers people are way less friendly, with a familiar city "attitude". Mountain folk are very reserved. Floridians are laid back but also a bit temperamental. Northeasterners are extremely talkative as well as demanding, they also have a great sense of humor. It all has alot to do with local culture of course, the industries propogated in the area, the types of people attracted to move to those areas, history, etc.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:31 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Defying many stereotypes of both Southerners and South Floridians, I am of Polish and Ukrainian background. Today it's not so simple to generalize.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:46 PM
 
958 posts, read 204,110 times
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I agree with this, and I'm glad somebody "gets it". Although at the same time, you have to understand that every city and really every major urban area in the Northeast was ruled by the more well-off white people who ran the mills and other industrial businesses that the minority "white" people worked at.

So classically, every major Northeast urban area is in fact very "Old Money", but at the same time, the majority of the white people in the Northeast in urban areas are people whose ancestors came over as poor immigrants.

That's why I can't stand when people compare us to Southern whites, though of course let's not forget that there were poor Southern whites too, plenty of them in fact, some who were brought over as slaves and indentured servants.
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