Southern Culture of America and English

KT   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 03:18 GMT
NY, NJ, PA, DE, and MD are the Mid-Atlantic states. I guess I was wrong about Mid-Atlantic people didn't call themselves Yankees. But Maryland is a mid-atlantic state.


adj : of a region of the United States generally including Delaware; Maryland; Virginia; and usually New York; Pennsylvania; New Jersey; "mid-Atlantic states" [syn: middle Atlantic, mid-Atlantic]

MSN Learning & Research - Dictionary:
Mid·dle At·lan·tic States or Mid-At·lan·tic States
plural noun

U.S. states on mid-Atlantic coast: the states midway along the Atlantic coast of the United States, consisting of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and usually Delaware and Maryland
hp20   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 04:49 GMT
geographically, yes. culturally, no. the textbook can say whatever it wants, i've been in all of those states and maryland is decidedly southern.
Simon   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 06:32 GMT
We have the same thing in England. Ok, Yorkshire is in the North and Hampshire is in the South. But what about Leicestershire and Warwickshire?
Cricket   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 10:48 GMT
Clark and hp20, how would you define southern American culture to a non-American. What things are unique to Southern American culture that can't be found anywhere else in the world? Are there any traditions that have independently evolved only in Southern America? In essence, what makes a person a true blue southerner other than their tell tale accent?
Simon   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 11:13 GMT
They like setting fire to black people, hate abortion, quote from the bible and don't have much money.
KT   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 14:24 GMT
I would like to know what about Maryland that makes you think it's "decidedly southern".
hp20   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 22:26 GMT
the culture, the mindset--it's not the bible belt but it's down there.

simon, come on, i usually give you more credit than that.
hp20   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 22:35 GMT
compared to others in america, IN GENERAL, southerners are more hospitable, friendlier, relaxed (not driven to succeed, etc), more religious (as a group: you'll find religious people all over america but in the south a lot of your life might revolve around the church), more traditional (politically and otherwise), kind of exclusive to outsiders as they can be very community oriented...they have a lot of family and town/state pride, you'll find a lot of people who like to talk about the civil war and the confederate states, even if they don't believe in racism/slavery or the breaking of the union.

of course these are subject to change based on whether the person is urban/rural, young/old, poor/well off--as are any generalizations.

racism exists in the south, but not to the extent that most foreigners seem to think. it runs deep in some areas and occasionally you do hear about violence, but the biggest racial "problem" is the default segregation: people just tend to stick to their own kind and like it that way. that's just the way it is.
Kabam   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 22:50 GMT
Thanks for these infos hp20.
I know it might be hard to tell but, have you any idea about the rate of racist peoples in the South ? In France, many of my compatriots usually say 'peoples are racist in the south of USA'. I really hate generalizations, but all I can tell them is 'you shouldn't generalize'. That's why I would like to be able to tell them something more precise and more concrete...
Cricket   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 23:07 GMT
I have encountered the same situation Kabam. Many People I know associate the South as being a very racist place and consider it to be the last place they would want to live. I have to confess that this has been my personal view also. Some of the above mentioned people are of Asian descent or are Jewish, and to them the South is synonymous with the Klu Klux Klan. At school the only American history I learned was on the civil rights movement. I have to admit that after learning about the inhuman treatment of African Americans and the corruptness borne from racisism within the police/justice system in the South, I have had an unfavourable view of the South.
hp20   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 23:08 GMT
the way i see it, if people WANT to believe something negative about the united states (or anything), nothing you say is going to change their mind. i wouldn't even bother arguing with them.

i can't tell you what the rate of racism is because for one, there is no poll and if there was one it would be inherently inaccurate (who's going to admit being racist?), and also because everyone is different. a few people are racist to the point that they join an organization for it. some people are to the point that they wouldn't want to work with a black person. but i would say that most people down south just want people to keep to their own. they're not violent or outspoken about it, they just aren't too crazy about people mixing too much. (i'm not talking about schools or the workplace, i'm talking about socially). and this goes for whites AND blacks.

as if it matters, but the most racist people i've ever met were neither white nor black.
Kabam   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 23:29 GMT
"the way i see it, if people WANT to believe something negative about the united states (or anything), nothing you say is going to change their mind"

I think that's true. Fortunately, you can also meet open-minded people who are able to reconsider their opinions if you give them enough informations showing that their believes are just believes.

Anyway, thank you for this precisions who sound to be closer to the truth. The same thing could be said about the 15 or 16 % of people who regularly vote Le Pen in France.
KT   Friday, May 23, 2003, 03:03 GMT
People I know from Maryland just don't fit in what you've described as southern culture and mindset. Well, I lived in Maryland for 4 years and only very few people I know were very religious or have lives "revolve around the church". I also found Maryland people very open-minded. Do they always talk about civil war/confederate states? Not that I know of. And after all, Maryland people do not consider themselves Southerners.
Simon   Friday, May 23, 2003, 06:15 GMT
You asked about southern culture. I gave an off the cuff miniature brainstorm. I have to say that those are stereotypes I have, oh and whiskey drinking and barn dancing. Sorry, I will endeavour to rectify my erroneous conceptions.
hp20   Friday, May 23, 2003, 19:37 GMT
first of all, KT, those were generalizations. you may have been in a community that was an exception, you may have been in a city, how can i know? i'm telling you that coming from a yankee perspective, maryland is for the most part southern. like i said, it's not the bible belt and it's doesn't exhibit the generalizations above as strongly as, say, appalachia. however, the overall culture is not that of the states that are actually considered by americans to be midatlantic (ny, pa, nj, etc). it leans to the south. (exceptions might include baltimore or annapolis, cities tend to be more cosmopolitan.)

it didn't bother me, simon, i just usually think of you as more...what, intelligent, fair minded, something like that.