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Thread: State/regional identity overlap

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    State/regional identity overlap

    We've had several fun threads debating about what qualifies as 'the midwest' or 'the south' or 'New England'.
    My question is which state (or province) is the hardest to nail down which region it belongs to - or suffers from 'multiple personality disorder'? What are your nominations and why?

    on a related note, for those of you familiar with states at the national boundaries where would you say the influence of Mexico or Canada begins to wane (alternately, where does the USA's cultural influence/impact begin to wane in those countries?) Is there much difference between Saskatchewan and ND? How about New York and Ontario?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Kentucky and Central/Southern Indiana. Kentucky wants to be considered true Southren but isn't. Central/Southern Indiana has far more in common with Kentucky than it wants to admit. Both Kentucky and Central/Southern Indiana end up being a hybrid of both. The only true Midwestern part of Indiana is Northern
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    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Missouri is tough to nail down. Saint Louis in particular is a mix but I've always considered it Midwest. Also Texas, in all seriousness (please no comments about being its own country) but I don't know if it's supposed to be the wild west with sagebrush and desert, farmland with great black soil, or even deep south like Alabama complete with "rednecks" and all.
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    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Connecticut, for sure.

    /end thread

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    In the Eastern Townships area in Quebec, the towns that sit along the US border are predominantly Anglophone. The next row of towns to the north is Francophone, and so on pretty much all the way up to Montreal.

    In the Buffalo/Niagara area, the regional accents are completely different on each side of the border; a very nasal Inland Northern accent east of the Niagara, textbook Canadian west. In Fort Erie, there would be no way of knowing you were anywhere near the US, much less right next to the border, unless you looked at license plates on major roads, turned on the radio or television, started seeing your cell phone bounce between US and Canadian carriers, or went to the river and saw the Buffalo skyline. There's no branches of local chains in Buffalo, the pizza is completely different, chain stores are mostly Canadian, and the few American chains have the standard maple leaf in their logos. There's no doot you're in Canada.

    Some summer homes along Lake Erie are owned by Buffalonians, but otherwise in Fort Erie, you might as well be in suburban Barre or wherever.. Click on the link; it's a Google Streetview perspective of a subdivision a few hundred yards meters from Canadian customs. It's a very Canadian suburban kind of streetscape that just doesn't exist in the US.

    When I lived in southern New Mexico, there was a LOT of overlap between El Paso and Juarez. A lot of chain businesses from El Paso had locations in Juarez, and vice versa. Spanish language radio and television stations broadcast ads for businesses on both sides of the border. There were many people who lived in Juarez who worked in El Paso, and vice versa. There seemed to be far more interaction across the US-Mexico border, and the kind of identity overlap Maister describes, than along the US-Canadian border where each side shares a common language and lifestyle.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Think Colorado is another odd one. Is it the West, Mountain West, Southwest, or Great Plains?

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Missouri - I had a college course "American Culture and Values" which talked about states and regions. Missouri isn't (but some of it acts like) Mid-West, Southeast, Ohio Valley, or Deep South. It is an interesting state, that Missouri.
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Poor New Mexico! So far from heaven, so close to Texas!

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Living in the Triangle, most people identify is as part of the Urban Southeast, which I would agree that NC's other large metro, Charlotte is definitely a part of that, the Triangle is not so much. There is more identity here with parts north, more mid-atlantic-ish
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    New Jersey. The northern part of NJ is part of the NYC metro area. A portion of the southern part is part of the Philadelphia metro area. The central area doesn't know who it belongs to and then there's the Jersey Shore. I give up.
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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    NE Florida (Jacksonville/Duval County) is more like south Georgia than Florida.
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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Virginia and West Virginia are kinda weird. Virginia used to be solidly Southern...and I guess, still is. This girl I met out there the last time I was in DC was from Williamsburg and definitely had a cute southern accent. But due to northern Virginia's growing influence, many might consider VA to be more cosmopolitan and East Coast/Mid-Atlantic in nature. West Virginia is even weirder because it's not on the coast, so it's not really quite East Coast, but not quite Southern, but not quite Midwestern either. Its rural culture might place it more in the South, but its economy is more Rust Belt in nature, and the Rust Belt is more commonly associated with the Midwest.

    Western PA and Western NY are also difficult to place into one region. Even thought they're in East Coast states, they're more Midwestern in nature. But being from the Upper Midwest, on the west side of the Great Lakes, I definitely think of the Western PA/Western NY area as more of it's own mini-region distinct from the rest of the Midwest. I think this is because this area is more Rust Belt than Corn Belt, whereas places like IN, IL, WI, OH, MI, and IA are IMO the "real Midwest" since they are part of both the Corn Belt and the Rust Belt.

    Southern Illinois is definitely a strange place. Northern and Central Illinois are undoubtedly Midwest, but Southern Illinois (generally south of I-70 and especially south of I-64) can be considered Southern IMO. People from states that were part of the Confederacy may disagree with me, but culturally, far southern Illinois has more in common with places like Memphis than they do with Chicago or Indianapolis.
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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    NE Florida (Jacksonville/Duval County) is more like south Georgia than Florida.
    Georgia south of Macon and Florida north of Orlando are very similar.

    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Southern Illinois is definitely a strange place. Northern and Central Illinois are undoubtedly Midwest, but Southern Illinois (generally south of I-70 and especially south of I-64) can be considered Southern IMO. People from states that were part of the Confederacy may disagree with me, but culturally, far southern Illinois has more in common with places like Memphis than they do with Chicago or Indianapolis.
    If I remember my cultural geography correctly, a lot of the folks who settled in southern Illinois came from states that were part of the Confederacy, so that makes sense.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    New Jersey. The northern part of NJ is part of the NYC metro area. A portion of the southern part is part of the Philadelphia metro area. The central area doesn't know who it belongs to and then there's the Jersey Shore. I give up.
    I got the sense growing up there, however, that while the two parts of the state were in the two media markets, we never felt of ourselves as anything other than dirty Jersey boys. Felt much the same when I lived in PA near the Jersey border. Penna was Penna and Jersey was Jersey.

    Off-topic:
    I always thought I grew up in Central Jersey, living in Somerset county. Others from north Jersey told me I was in the south and those from south Jersey told me I was in northern Jersey. I'm still confused...
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    New Jersey. The northern part of NJ is part of the NYC metro area. A portion of the southern part is part of the Philadelphia metro area. The central area doesn't know who it belongs to and then there's the Jersey Shore. I give up.
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I got the sense growing up there, however, that while the two parts of the state were in the two media markets, we never felt of ourselves as anything other than dirty Jersey boys. Felt much the same when I lived in PA near the Jersey border. Penna was Penna and Jersey was Jersey.

    Off-topic:
    I always thought I grew up in Central Jersey, living in Somerset county. Others from north Jersey told me I was in the south and those from south Jersey told me I was in northern Jersey. I'm still confused...
    Indeed I also agree.
    The Jersey Shore is the blend of both - growing up knew kids in the summer from both Philly and NY, even knew a few true locals but not pineys, Media you had access to both.
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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Indeed I also agree.
    The Jersey Shore is the blend of both - growing up knew kids in the summer from both Philly and NY, even knew a few true locals but not pineys, Media you had access to both.
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
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    The Craig's List test:

    North Jersey
    Central Jersey
    South Jersey
    Jersey Shore

    Also....what about Pennsyltucky?
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  18. #18
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    Also....what about Pennsyltucky?
    You know folks in Michigan sometimes refer to the city of Ypsilanti as "Ypsitucky". Kentucky certainly seems to suffer from some image problems.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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