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Old 07-08-2012, 10:07 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Default Southern culture may be conservative/tradition, but is it really that puritanical?

I mean in the Bible Belt, it seems there are a lot of teenage pregnancies, alcohol is popular - I mean whiskey and bourbon is big, not to mention moonshine, and there are many well-known watery holes. Stereotypical southern culture, especially redneck type culture and African American culture of course, seems quite a pleasure loving culture which enjoys having fun. They also really enjoy food - and have some great, gust-busting, artery-clogging chow down there.

So apart from the stereotypes, would it be fair to say that Southern culture may quite set in it's ways and outwardly religious and conservative, but not really puritanical in the sense of having lots of rules, being austere, temperance.etc like the Amish or the original Pilgrims? Would you say this is more a feature of a place like North Dakota? Or is it more puritanical than it seems?

edit: no idea how a duplicate version of the thread ended up here?

Last edited by Trimac20; 07-08-2012 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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"I mean in the Bible Belt, it seems there are a lot of teenage pregnancies, alcohol is popular - I mean whiskey and bourbon is big, not to mention moonshine, and there are many well-known watery holes. Stereotypical southern culture, especially redneck type culture and African American culture of course, seems quite a pleasure loving culture which enjoys having fun. They also really enjoy food - and have some great, gust-busting, artery-clogging chow down there."

Yeesh. I suppose you think that Mammy is still around too? Crikey. I can't believe all of Australia isn't Crocodile Dundee stomping grounds either.

We live in a dry county. Our closest neighbors are teetotalers. Church is at least two days a week. The Jack Daniels Brewery a few miles away is also in a dry county. The residents of counties regularly get to vote whether to go wet or stay dry. That means at least 51% of people who vote don't want alcohol sales.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:03 PM
 
10,489 posts, read 8,140,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I mean in the Bible Belt, it seems there are a lot of teenage pregnancies, alcohol is popular - I mean whiskey and bourbon is big, not to mention moonshine, and there are many well-known watery holes. Stereotypical southern culture, especially redneck type culture and African American culture of course, seems quite a pleasure loving culture which enjoys having fun. They also really enjoy food - and have some great, gust-busting, artery-clogging chow down there.

So apart from the stereotypes, would it be fair to say that Southern culture may quite set in it's ways and outwardly religious and conservative, but not really puritanical in the sense of having lots of rules, being austere, temperance.etc like the Amish or the original Pilgrims? Would you say this is more a feature of a place like North Dakota? Or is it more puritanical than it seems?

edit: no idea how a duplicate version of the thread ended up here?

The flip side of all of that repression, hard fundamentalism; religions that ban dancing drinking and card playing are people who can't abide by all of the rules so abide by none.

I have recently attended a fundamentalist Christian wedding in North Carolina.

I have never been to such a schizophrenic and dysfunctional event in my life.

There was of course no dancing or normal music. "Praise" music droned on in the background. It was quiet and there was no laughter or merriment.

However, the parking lot was another story. Men in their late teens, through 50s hung around a cluster of cars and pickups with coolers, and flasks, passing bottles of Jack Daniels and going through beer like crazy.

And the looser of the women joined them out there and did more than dance with the men.

One of the brides maids, a preachers daughter was among them. People kept living the main wedding
"Celebration" to drink themselves silly in the parking lot.

The really religious matriarchs - my MIL among them just turned a blind eye.

This is still quite entrenched in Southern culture. Not all but some.

To be fair, a good friend of mine was married at a normal church (Methodist) and had a really rocking Southern Style reception at a river front restaurant complete with a Rock a billy band.

However so many Southern Religions -- Southern Baptist, and all of the Baptists. Church of God. Church of Christ, Church of the Nazarene and the Assemblies of God prohibit alcohol, dancing and even customs such as tossing the bouquet.

There is defiantly a flip side to the South. And the bible belt leads the nation in a number of dubious ways. - teenage pregnancy, violence, murder, gun shot deaths, spousal and child abuse and high school drop outs.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
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There is an expression my father uses to describe this hypocritical behavior like this: "They're like an ol' tomcat: you know they're out raising hell, it's just hard to catch 'em at it."

Growing up, it always baffled me why some people insist on presenting themselves as extremely religious, but act just like everyone they speak out against on Sundays. It's not extremely common, but it does happen and it's generally the preachiest ones that are hiding the most. "He doth protesteth too much", I suppose.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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There's a good book, "Albion's Seed", which deals with the various early migration patterns to this country from England, and which explains why that helped set in play current cultural traits, ranging from accents to religious affiliations and beliefs to attitudes towards education, entertainment, agrarian society vs industrial society, rural vs city, and more. Fascinating stuff.

The Scots-Irish influence should also be taken into account - read the chapter titled "The Guid Scots Tongue" in "The Story of English" for a very intriguing description of how both accent and folkways traveled from lowland Scotland to Northern Ireland to Philadelphia, down the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, aka The Great Valley Road, into the back country of western Virginia and North and South Carolina, then into Tennessee and Kentucky, then on to Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and eventually to California during the Great Depression (with all those Okies). Both the book cited and the television series based on it include this story - I recommend both.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:11 PM
 
10,489 posts, read 8,140,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
There's a good book, "Albion's Seed", which deals with the various early migration patterns to this country from England, and which explains why that helped set in play current cultural traits, ranging from accents to religious affiliations and beliefs to attitudes towards education, entertainment, agrarian society vs industrial society, rural vs city, and more. Fascinating stuff.

The Scots-Irish influence should also be taken into account - read the chapter titled "The Guid Scots Tongue" in "The Story of English" for a very intriguing description of how both accent and folkways traveled from lowland Scotland to Northern Ireland to Philadelphia, down the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, aka The Great Valley Road, into the back country of western Virginia and North and South Carolina, then into Tennessee and Kentucky, then on to Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and eventually to California during the Great Depression (with all those Okies). Both the book cited and the television series based on it include this story - I recommend both.
This book sounds amazingly good! My background is in Social Psychology and I've always had a keen interest in history.

This does pretty much delineate thae path of the Scots-Irish.


Where was the television series aired? Does anyone have it on DVD?


I'm partially descended from these folks. This would interest me enormously!
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:36 PM
Status: "I came from rural Jersey with a bimbo on my knee" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: On a hill near a river
14,343 posts, read 11,400,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
There's a good book, "Albion's Seed", which deals with the various early migration patterns to this country from England, and which explains why that helped set in play current cultural traits, ranging from accents to religious affiliations and beliefs to attitudes towards education, entertainment, agrarian society vs industrial society, rural vs city, and more. Fascinating stuff.

The Scots-Irish influence should also be taken into account - read the chapter titled "The Guid Scots Tongue" in "The Story of English" for a very intriguing description of how both accent and folkways traveled from lowland Scotland to Northern Ireland to Philadelphia, down the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, aka The Great Valley Road, into the back country of western Virginia and North and South Carolina, then into Tennessee and Kentucky, then on to Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and eventually to California during the Great Depression (with all those Okies). Both the book cited and the television series based on it include this story - I recommend both.
Good call. I second your recommendation. I regularly assigned that text to my sociolinguistics classes when I was still actively teaching.

Here is link to a brief interview with the author (David Hackett Fisher), speaking of the diverse definitions of "Freedom" as reflected regionally. Dr. Fischer's remarks include several references to the perspectives CraigCreek mentions...

Founding Fathers Defined Freedom Differently : NPR
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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PBS ran the series a number of years ago - an online search (which I have not performed) should turn it up. I don't know if it's availabe to view online or not, but it should be on DVD and perhaps in your local public library's collection (the books certainly should be available either already in your library or accessible via interlibrary loan).

Thanks for the appreciative words!
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:10 AM
 
Location: America's Finest City
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Having lived in the south for 5+ years now I believe there's a lot of cognitive dissonance in this region. Southerners like to smoke, drink, dance, and have a good time yet they also profess to be "good Christian folk." On one hand (many) southerners will Bible thump and look at you sideways when you confess to atheism or less than conservative view points and will at times assume an air of moral righteousness. Yet on the other hand they will out drink, out smoke and out party you. And the south is the teenage mom capital of the United States.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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Some Protestant denominations with a great many Southern members stress "being saved", along with forgiveness for backsliders who repent. Some may interpret these beliefs to mean that once "saved", always saved, or on the other hand, that deathbed confessions and repentance wipe out all past sins. I doubt if this is exactly what the founders of such churches had in mind!

On the other hand, there are many who do not view dancing, drinking in moderation, etc. as sinful or in conflict with religious teachings.

The teenage mom thing (aren't there corresponding teenage fathers, btw??) is more closely related to inadequate education and real or perceived lack of opportunity than to religious teachings. Again, some churches' stress on forgiveness may come into play here, and if a young single woman perceives herself as a "good mother", she may well convince herself that her age and marital status are insignificant by comparison with her love and care for her child(ren).
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