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Old 05-27-2019, 11:55 PM
 
195 posts, read 290,978 times
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I am from Northern Illinois. I only have anecdotal evidence, but has always been my impression that the people in Southern Illinois are... well, different. They lead a different way of life down there. I don't want to say "redneck" because I don't think that's the right term. My anecdotal evidence was mainly a large extended family who lived in our neighborhood, who were always fighting amoungst each other, and having the police called on them. They were from "down south" (southern Illinois) and many times their relatives would come up and visit, each other shadier than the last. They just seemed different from everyone else in our neighborhood. Is Southern Indiana different culturally than Northern Indiana? I felt at home amongst the people in N. Indiana when I lived in Fort Wayne for a while, but I prefer the scenery of the South. I am done with Illinois.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Brownsburg, IN
157 posts, read 173,450 times
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Southern Indiana may get that label sometimes, but I honestly think it's more of a urban versus rural type of difference that is noticed. Yes there may be families in southern Indiana that would prove all of the stereotypes, but there are many that would disprove it. Bloomington or Columbus or Evansville (3rd largest city/metro area in state) are all cities in southern Indiana and I could see you living in them and thinking it was Indianapolis or Fort Wayne.

I have had family and in-laws who were in the rural areas West of Indianapolis and some North of Fort Wayne and I think most people would have considered them very different from those they interacted with in Indy, Lafayette or Fort Wayne. Again my family and in-laws would probably not be considered redneck, but different from most urban dwellers.

I also think Southern Indiana gets this label much more so than the rest of the state of Indiana for 2 other reasons. With how much hillier and more forests Southern Indiana has in comparison to the rest of Indiana there are less cities and not always as much of a population as other parts of Indiana. The second is being so much closer to Kentucky, justified or not, the stereotypes of Kentucky as being redneck and all of those stereotypes are more associated with Southern Indiana too. There are definitely those who associate more with being a part of Louisville or other southern/Southern Midwestern cities than with Indy. Much like people from the Region associate and see themselves more as being a part of Chicago than Indy.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
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I do agree to some extent that it's a rural vs city thing, but I live in Bloomington. It's not exclusively rural vs. city though. I was raised in NWI and spent decades in the Chicago area. When we moved here I noticed a difference in the body language and how people move in their space. Obviously there is a difference in how fast one speaks. Speech is slower here for natives of Southern Indiana. I've also noticed a big difference in the work ethic of many here vs. NWI--not a positive difference btw.

I suspect the kind of behavior you're speaking about OP is more related to socioeconomic background, family background and education more than location. I've seen trashy behavior like that in NWI and the Chicago suburbs as well as Bloomington and Indianapolis.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:09 PM
 
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Depends what you mean by "southern" - for Illinois, I think of it as the hilly part of the extreme southern part of the state, which is influenced by MS Delta and the Ozarks. Southern Indiana is more influenced by Kentucky and the Appalachians. The dysfunctional family dynamics you mention are probably because of $$ and mental health as much as anything, it can and does happen anywhere and in any place.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:12 AM
 
Location: Illinois
3,028 posts, read 2,757,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edujop View Post
I am from Northern Illinois. I only have anecdotal evidence, but has always been my impression that the people in Southern Illinois are... well, different. They lead a different way of life down there. I don't want to say "redneck" because I don't think that's the right term. My anecdotal evidence was mainly a large extended family who lived in our neighborhood, who were always fighting amoungst each other, and having the police called on them. They were from "down south" (southern Illinois) and many times their relatives would come up and visit, each other shadier than the last. They just seemed different from everyone else in our neighborhood. Is Southern Indiana different culturally than Northern Indiana? I felt at home amongst the people in N. Indiana when I lived in Fort Wayne for a while, but I prefer the scenery of the South. I am done with Illinois.
When I was growing up, we lived next to a family that would routinely have shouting matches with each other in the driveway. But guess what...we lived in a suburban enclave outside of Chicago where the homes are worth millions of dollars. Dysfunctional families are everywhere, from everywhere, and of all backgrounds.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Indiana
79 posts, read 82,963 times
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I'm from rural southern Illinois. I lived in Denver, CO and now in a nice suburb on the west side of Indy.
Are there trailer parks and/or lower economic neighborhoods in rural america that have drama? Sure. I've witnessed my share of that as I myself have lived in those types of areas when I was just starting out in life and struggling to make ends meet.
In Denver, I lived in an upper-middle class neighborhood. I think the only difference in the front lawn disagreements was that in Denver it came from wine and in SoIllinois the culprit was beer.

It comes down to most things- unfortunately what we "know" about people and areas are what is displayed on social media, the "news", and/or from isolated hearsay. Really, most areas in Southern Illinois are pretty tame with some very nice and low key areas , but like in any geography, there are pockets where things as you describe is more prevalent.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:39 PM
 
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If you like Ft. Wayne, you will find Evansville very similar. I have lived in both and grew up in St. Louis, so I am also familiar with Southern Illinois.

Like others have said, most of what you are describing isn't geographic. There is quite a bit of culture in Southern Illinois. You have a nice college town in Carbondale, and the wineries in Southern Illinois are amazing.
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
32,685 posts, read 27,190,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestsideMac View Post
I also think Southern Indiana gets this label much more so than the rest of the state of Indiana for 2 other reasons. With how much hillier and more forests Southern Indiana has in comparison to the rest of Indiana there are less cities and not always as much of a population as other parts of Indiana. The second is being so much closer to Kentucky, justified or not, the stereotypes of Kentucky as being redneck and all of those stereotypes are more associated with Southern Indiana too. There are definitely those who associate more with being a part of Louisville or other southern/Southern Midwestern cities than with Indy. Much like people from the Region associate and see themselves more as being a part of Chicago than Indy.
Totally agreed.

I moved from Tennessee to Indianapolis. Many of the Indy natives I dealt with regularly weren't friend to downright rude, etc.

I met a couple of friends from southern IN in and around Indy, and spent some time down there on the weekends. Totally different vibe. It definitely reminded me of where I'm from in TN and KY. There are good and bad things associated with that.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana
43 posts, read 18,347 times
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I am a native of Martinsville, Indiana - born, raised, and returned to Martinsville. I agree with many of the posts that mentioned that the behavior varies between families and areas. Please don't judge an entire town or region or state by 1 or 2 or 10 bad apples. They are EVERYWHERE.

I've worked & lived in ND, SD, MT, IL (Northern & Southern), IN (NW, W, C), and a few mission trips to Mexico and the people that I chose to associate with were of the same work ethic & culture (good ol' boy, farm/country, blue-collar, respect your elders, etc) and we all got along fairly well.

I've worked with some argumentative people and lived with/from/nearby people that were of the friendly nature and of the harsh nature.

What I have found is if you're able to research, research the area that you're interested in moving to (just like this post but more specific). For me, I typically tried to find a local church. From there, I would ask the locals at said church where everything was. And after that, I attempted to avoid the harsh people or if that wasn't an option, I would attempt to, at minimum, make peace with them.

I typically attempt to not cross people unless it's absolutely necessary or unless you understand the consequences to yourself and those around you.

Perfect personal experience - from Martinsville - I had a neighbor that had 2-5 dogs that he'd let out at all hours of the day/night. (Blamed me for cracking his vehicle window while mowing before I even knew I was moving to that location). I knew enough to not call the cops because we were the closest and most obvious - and we really didn't want to be "those" neighbors. So, we bought a fan, and that helped 95% of the time. Finally, the neighbor moved and the next renters are the quietest and unobtrusive folks you could ask for. Great neighbors - offers us grilled food if they catch us outside, treat us like their kids - very sweet.

Or another neighbor had a spouse that was very vocal. To the point that we would close the windows when they were out. There was a divorce, the quiet spouse remained and now we can leave the windows open.

We all like to work on our own projects, so we may have to close our windows to sleep sometimes. But, if we need some eggs, produce, help with a project: you can bet that any of these neighbors are willing to help if they are able.

Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. Maybe befriend and "work" on neighbors. At worst - move. It's unfortunate but true. However, to reiterate, please don't judge an entire town or region or state by 1 or 2 or 10 bad apples. They are EVERYWHERE. But so are decent and wonderful people that will bless your life.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
12,042 posts, read 17,072,793 times
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My dad and grandparents were born in the country around Hillham, a still-unincorporated community in the northeastern corner of Dubois County, about five miles southwest of French Lick, which is in Orange County. Dad was born in 1931. Grandma was born in 1915, my grandfather in 1906. Their ancestors settled there in the early 1800’s. When my dad was 14, he and my grandparents moved to South Carolina, where I was born and raised and live now. My mother and my maternal grandparents and their ancestors were born and raised in the country in southern Orangeburg County, SC, with roots going back to 1670 Charleston and 1750’s Orangeburg County.

My dad is almost 89. Nearly 20 years ago he took me to Hillham and French Lick to show me around. I met my grandmother’s sister whom I had never met, and one of their cousins, who took us around to cemeteries.

I have been doing a ton of genealogical research, and in my mind I feel as though I have practically relived the lives of my ancestors back to the earliest days there. I have looked up people who are distant cousins on social media and messaged a few of them, but I have heard nothing from them. I can see from viewing their social media pages that they are very set in their ways shall we say, and I can tell they don’t want anyone messing with their ways. There is a very strong undercurrent or even tidal wave of patriotism-red-white-and-blue-God-the-fatherness in their lives.

My dad’s people were poor- to middle-class, hard-working farmers. While his parents went into the baking industry and left the farm, to this day I am the only descendant I know of on his side of the family who gives a flip about cities, and even I spend a good bit of time thinking about quitting the city and everything involved with cities to go live a quiet country life. It’s thick in my blood. So hey, don’t be talkin’ about my people. Just kidding. I find it fascinating.
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