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  #41  
Old 21 February 2013, 08:20 PM
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Until recently I had only lived in Florida, which is several cultures mixed together (which culture is the most prominant depends on where in the state you are.) For those who see a "southern culture", what exactly does that consist of? Can you give concrete examples instead of just saying that it definitely exists?
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  #42  
Old 21 February 2013, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
That different regions of the South have cultural differences doesn't mean that they don't have a common Southern culture.
No, but it means that all regions with a Southern culture should share some common cultural traits. What are those traits?
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  #43  
Old 21 February 2013, 09:12 PM
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Hasn't someone said here that in Florida, you have to go "north" to go "south" - in that "southern" culture doesn't exist in southern Florida, which is more "multicultural".

At the risk of opening up a can of worms, I'd say that "southern" culture involves most of the following...

- generally a "confederate" state, or an area which had significant slave ownership prior to the civil war
- primarily composed of agricultural areas, with only "recent" industrialization and manufacturing (meaning since WW2)
- a lack of variety in religion - being dominated by baptist Christianity
- a lack of ethnic multiculturalism, especially from Asia or Latin America, but also from Europe (being primarily from the UK)
- a lack of "union" tradition in manufacturing/business
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  #44  
Old 21 February 2013, 09:51 PM
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The south of Florida is largely hispanic, mostly Cuban and Dominican. At least until you get to the Keys, which have a culture all their own. Call it Jimmy Buffet culture. The rest is a patchwork of south and New England.
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  #45  
Old 21 February 2013, 10:09 PM
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Greater religiosity than found in northern states is one example I can think of. See this Pew Foundation report for some examples.

ETA: Pulling over for the funeral processions of total strangers is, I think, a southern custom.
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  #46  
Old 21 February 2013, 10:40 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture...es#cite_ref-25

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture...ited_States%29

And to be clear, I don't think everyone in the South maintains the Southern culture, or that the culture of Southern states is identical. But certain common traits permeate the society. I grew up in moderately to strongly Southern parts of Florida. I don't support many of the traits of Southern culture, but I was certainly aware of and influenced by them. Likewise, there is a Southern dialect, as reflected by the pen/pin merger illustrated in the first of the Wikipedia articles linked. That doesn't mean that there is one single unified Southern dialect, but it does mean that there is an overarching commonality for those affected. (As it happens, I have only a very weak accent that only comes out in a few words and circumstances. Mostly I speak with a "general American" dialect.)
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  #47  
Old 21 February 2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
The south of Florida is largely hispanic, mostly Cuban and Dominican. At least until you get to the Keys, which have a culture all their own. Call it Jimmy Buffet culture. The rest is a patchwork of south and New England.
New England culture in Florida only exists in South Florida, with all the Yankee transplants down here. You'll rarely find them living north of Orlando. Orlando is sort of the dividing line between the cultural southern US, and the mixed bag of culture that's South Florida. North of Orlando are the more rural areas, where people have Southern accents, they are more conservative and Christian (primarily Baptist or Pentacostal), have a propensity to fly the rebel flag (even on government buildings), can claim several generations of history in the state, and know that black-eyed peas aren't just a music group.
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  #48  
Old 22 February 2013, 07:05 AM
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So what are the traits of, say, German culture?

You can look up, for example, dialects of the US and see one trait of southern culture: southern dialects.
http://www.uta.fi/FAST/US1/REF/dial-map.html
(You may note that, by most accounts, all but the northern bits of the Delmarva Peninsula have southern dialects.)
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  #49  
Old 22 February 2013, 08:04 AM
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If you were in Germany you might say that there was a Bavarian culture (in the south) and a Prussian culture (in the north) and that what people outside Germany tend to think of as "German culture" takes random elements from each of those. (Probably other cultures too, but I'm not German).

That does remind me of a question I was meaning to ask in the Stupid Questions thread, though. I've been reading about German and Italian unification in the 19th Century. In both of those cases, even though "Germany" and "Italy" didn't exist and had never existed as states, the unifiers seemed to have the idea of deliberately uniting entities called "Germany" and "Italy". What was it that they thought they were uniting? In Germany it might have been the linguistic region of German-speakers, but I don't think that applies to Italian to the same extent. Or does it?*

In contrast with the UK, the union of (the Kingdom of) England and Scotland wasn't thought of (or doesn't seem to have been thought of) as a cultural union - only a political and geographic one. And the earlier unification of England (from Mercia, Anglia, Wessex, Sussex, the Danelaw and so on) seems to have just happened, rather than happening through a conscious desire to unify something called "England". Although it's longer ago so less of the rhetoric has survived.

* (eta) These are the sort of questions you might think my book would have answered, but it's actually a history of "Vanished Kingdoms" (that's its title - by Norman Davies) and so the unification of Germany and Italy is dealt with incidentally as part of the disappearance of the kingdoms he's actually writing about, which became constituent parts of the new states.
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  #50  
Old 22 February 2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
(You may note that, by most accounts, all but the northern bits of the Delmarva Peninsula have southern dialects.)
Of course, in the case of Delaware, the northern bits account for the majority of the population, so if you use that to define the south, most of Delaware is southern but most Delawareans aren't.
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  #51  
Old 22 February 2013, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Although it's longer ago so less of the rhetoric has survived.
But it's a rather insensitive thing to say with St Piran's Day just a couple of weeks off.
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  #52  
Old 22 February 2013, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
Of course, in the case of Delaware, the northern bits account for the majority of the population [...]
True, but historically much less so.

It's also worth noting that the state had the largest portion of freed slaves of any state - north or south.
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