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Old 02-15-2013, 01:54 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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A sensitive & passionate topic, so maybe it would be better here, where the rules are a little more strict.

While not a new observation, many social & political observers have suggested that a lot of the country's current polarization basically comes down to unresolved differences between rural Southern white culture (for lack of a better name), and pretty much everyone else. This has also become known as the ''culture wars'', and is often expressed as the difference between the "blue" states, and the "red" states. When in reality it's really more like the difference between blue counties & the red ones, which not coincidentally, also usually have a high percentge of folks with "southern" and "Scots-Irish" ancestry, regardless where they're located.

Now you don't have to agree with any of that, and we all more or less know what urban or ''yankee'' life is like.... so the question is, IF we are in fact a country that's stuck with a very uneasy ''marriage'' (enough that we once flirted with a ''divorce'', aka the Civil War), then how to describe the ''southern'' side beyond the stereotypes, and what strengths (and weaknesses) has that culture also contributed to the country? For example most of our greatest wartime heroes & leaders came from southern & scots-irish ancestry, including George Patton, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, John McCain, and Neil Armstrong.

BTW, this is not intended to be an excuse for north- or south-bashing (or self-pity), but really more like imagining if you were an independent outsider counseling both sides, and were trying to show what each one in the "marriage" brings to the table.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:25 AM
 
44,582 posts, read 43,115,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo45 View Post
A sensitive & passionate topic, so maybe it would be better here, where the rules are a little more strict.

While not a new observation, many social & political observers have suggested that a lot of the country's current polarization basically comes down to unresolved differences between rural Southern white culture (for lack of a better name), and pretty much everyone else. This has also become known as the ''culture wars'', and is often expressed as the difference between the "blue" states, and the "red" states. When in reality it's really more like the difference between blue counties & the red ones, which not coincidentally, also usually have a high percentge of folks with "southern" and "Scots-Irish" ancestry, regardless where they're located.

Now you don't have to agree with any of that, and we all more or less know what urban or ''yankee'' life is like.... so the question is, IF we are in fact a country that's stuck with a very uneasy ''marriage'' (enough that we once flirted with a ''divorce'', aka the Civil War), then how to describe the ''southern'' side beyond the stereotypes, and what strengths (and weaknesses) has that culture also contributed to the country? For example most of our greatest wartime heroes & leaders came from southern & scots-irish ancestry, including George Patton, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, John McCain, and Neil Armstrong.

BTW, this is not intended to be an excuse for north- or south-bashing (or self-pity), but really more like imagining if you were an independent outsider counseling both sides, and were trying to show what each one in the "marriage" brings to the table.
I think it is a very sensitive topic because it is long-rooted, all the way back to the Civil War, and before that as well.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:39 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
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Southern Culture is rooted in being Christian. We walk the walk and don't just talk the talk. Talk is cheap and we get enough of that from those that keep telling us we are so sinful and they are so perfect.

Sometimes it means biting ones tongue rather than say the obvious. Go to the North Carolina section and see the post about being here for one month. The obvious answer there was "you can't fix stupid." I read the post, shook my head and moved on. But I am sure it will end up that something is wrong with the people in North Carolina because this person made very bad choices. It was also because someone else suggested she should do what she did. One wonders what happens to a person having their own brain and using it.

Honor means that you take responsibility for your own actions and don't play the blame game. That is the opposite of the blame game we see in D. C. Much of our politeness ends up looking like we don't know any better. It is just rude to kick a person when she is down.

My take- after just 1 month

Last edited by NCN; 02-16-2013 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Thanks, that's an interesting take, and we ''non-southerners'' probably tend to forget about the importance of religion, especially for other cultures. Though in fairness, the southern brand of christianity (based on Scottish Calvinism) ain't quite the same as say, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc! Also, you're right, the values of Honor, Respect and personal responsibility are very important in the South, although I never really understood the distinction between being held accountable, and ''kicking 'em when they're down''. I mean there are always consequences, and either you're responsible or you're not, right? Or else underneath all that politeness, how does Southern culture ever deal with the concept of expressing ''social disapproval'' and what's ''unacceptable'' (or does everything always come down to ''you can't fix stupid'')?!
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Southern culture has given us NASCAR (meh), Country music (yuk), Bluegrass (yay), barbecue (yay), and Jeff Foxworthy (w00t)
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:43 PM
 
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This is one thing many people never consider. The Christian faith is not exclusively a southern thing. There are alot of Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Catholics in the northern states.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
This is one thing many people never consider. The Christian faith is not exclusively a southern thing. There are alot of Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Catholics in the northern states.
Yes, but the South has a far higher level of importance of religion in one's life, belief in God and church attendance. The majority of the Southern popuation attends church on a weekly basis. According to Gallup, 63% of Mississippians attend church on a weekly basis, Alabama is second at 58%. Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, etc all have church attendance rates of 50% or higher. The NE states are around 20-30%.

Another poll I've seen showed 98% of the population in Mississippi and Alabama believe in God. Only 1% don't. Certain areas of the South have been rated as being just as religious as parts of Africa and the mid-east (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc) are.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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It is hard for me to pinpoint what it is about Southern culture. I know that the culture that exists in Louisiana(especially southern Louisiana) is going to be far different than that of eastern Tennessee, and eastern Tennessee is going to be different from Atlanta. Jeff Foxworthy, bluegrass, country music, and NASCAR are being mentioned. However, there are a large number of people born in the South who don't identify with that.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Foodways, closeness to the land, storytelling, traditional music, close family ties, knowledge of family history and pride in ancestry (not racial pride, but awareness of and pride in ancestors' accomplishments and character), agrarian history...these all come to mind when brainstorming with myself about what makes Southern culture/heritage unique.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:31 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 21,129,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo45 View Post
Thanks, that's an interesting take, and we ''non-southerners'' probably tend to forget about the importance of religion, especially for other cultures. Though in fairness, the southern brand of christianity (based on Scottish Calvinism) ain't quite the same as say, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc! Also, you're right, the values of Honor, Respect and personal responsibility are very important in the South, although I never really understood the distinction between being held accountable, and ''kicking 'em when they're down''. I mean there are always consequences, and either you're responsible or you're not, right? Or else underneath all that politeness, how does Southern culture ever deal with the concept of expressing ''social disapproval'' and what's ''unacceptable'' (or does everything always come down to ''you can't fix stupid'')?!
From the experience I have had from being around those from the North for instance, if someone is talking about a particular subject and you don't agree with what they are saying, a person from the North will usually tell you they don't agree. Most people from the South will say nothing until you ask them how they feel about a subject if they disagree. At that time they may or may not tell you that your head is screwed on crooked. When a Southern person gets to the point of being disagreeable they are just about ready to fight. Better back off! That is actually how the civil war started. We don't do a lot of what we call "mouthing." We are not going to stand there yelling. A very polite exit speaks volumes to those that understand what it means. That is the way social disapproval and unacceptable behavior is handled. Rude people usually end up being very lonely people.
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