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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2007, 8:43 PM
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General Sterotypes - Why and Where??

So I know this has been done in different fashions, but I was curious what's your instant sterotype of a state. I don't know why I always find this so interesting, but I find it fascinating what some states are known for - and wonder how these views developed. I don't care if it's good or bad, I'm just curious what they are. We ALL know that they aren't true, and I'm DEFINITELY not trying to get people to defend any of these. I've been to all 50 states, and I love them all - but if you were to say a state name, this is what would instantly pop into my head before I had a chance to think.

Think The Simpsons. They're excellent at doing this. The Simpsons go to Alabama to live - a week later they show them wearing overalls sitting on a porch talking with slow southern drawls and chewing on long grass. Of course that isn't true, but you scream Alabama, and this is the picture I get in my head.

Place, then people.

Alabama Place: Smaller towns and cities, hot, rural in nature. People: Southern drawl, race issues, religious.
Alaska Place: Mountains, very sparsly populated. People: Rugged, white or natives.
Arizona Place: Empty except for Phoenix, sprawling, beautiful. People: Old people and transplants, riding on Californias coattails.
Arkansas Place: Small towns, wooded, farms. People: Simple, a little hillbilly-ish. Lots of pickup trucks.
California Place: Very diverse state, two huge cities, desert in south, mountains in north. People: Lots of transplants, feel like the rest of the country are their "accessories". Blonds at the beach, hispanics doing all the manual labor.
Colorado Place: Mountains, ski resorts, Denver is the only city. People: No real sterotype I can think of here. Nice people, young.
Connecticut Place: North of NYC, lots of little cities. People: Rich, people living off NYC.
Delaware Place: Small! coastal. People: Really get no image, stuck between large cities with not much of a voice.
Florida Place: Palm trees, beach, people living in cities. People: Lots of old people, lots of transplants, lots of snobs in the cities, hillbillies in the central areas.
Georgia Place: Low mountains, Atlanta. People: Atlanta as the capital of the upper class blacks, more race issues and ignorance in the rural areas.
Hawaii Place: Beaches, mountains, isolated. People: Natives of the area, easy going, friendly.
Idaho Place: Mountains, isolated. People: No real image, not "mountain people", but not cosmopolitan.
Illinois Place: Chicago, farms, flat. People: "city" types in Chicago, rural hics downstate.
Indiana Place: Indy, farms. People: Very republican, white, conservative.
Iowa Place: Flat, rural, farms. People: hics, white, simple.
Kansas Place: Very flat, lots of wheat, nothing else there. People: Rural people, simple, nice.
Kentucky Place: Mountains, little towns. People: Mountain hics, hillbillies.
Louisiana Place: Swamps, New Orleans. People: Easy going, meandering through life, better off than Mississippi.
Maine Place: Nature, forests. People: Democrats, white, content.
Maryland Place: Smashed between DC and Philly. People: Tied to DC, Baltimore gets lost in the mix, professionals.
Massachusetts Place: Boston, coastal. People: Very democratic, white, educated, liberal.
Michigan Place: Detroit, great lakes. People: Friendly in rural areas, lots of urban poor.
Minnesota Place: Cold weather, lakes, farms. People: Friendly, white, Rose from Golden Girls.
Mississippi Place: Deep south, rural areas. People: Low education, race issues, struggling.
Missouri Place: The area between Kansas City and St. Louis, part north, part south. People: Urban poor in St. Louis, Cowboys and whites in Kansas City. Rural areas are farmers.
Montana Place: Mountains! Big sky. No people. People: Isolated, rugged, independant.
Nebraska Place: Very flat, boring, corn/wheat. People: Farmers, nice, simple.
Nevada Place: Vegas all the way. People: People actually LIVE in Nevada?
New Hampshire Place: Trees, more trees. People: Very nice and friendly, quiet life, mind their own business and want out of the rest of the countries issues.
New Jersey Place: Philly, NYC. People: The other half of NYC, cliche, loud mouths.
New Mexico Place: Rural, mountains, dry. People: Hispanic...no other impression.
New York Place: New York City. People: Fast moving, loud, annoying.
North Carolina Place: Mountains in west, coast to east. People: Transplants, near south, friendly "normal" people.
North Dakota Place: Desolate, flat, cold. People: What are they doing up there??
Ohio Place: Industrial, cities. People: Average Americans, stagnant economy.
Oklahoma Place: North of Texas, lots of Native Americans. People: Riding on the coattails of Texas. Unknown really...
Oregon Place: Pretty, Portland, clean. People: Tree huggers, friendly, busy recycling and enjoying nature.
Pennsylvania Place: Philly/Pitts with a lot of mountains in between. People: Big city on either end, mountain myserious people in between.
Rhode Island Place: Small, counching next to Boston. People: New Englanders.
South Carolina Place: Southern, Atlantic, resorts. People: Race issues, not as educated, easy going.
South Dakota Place: Mountains/farms/plains. People: Friendly, rural in nature. Work with the land a lot.
Tennessee Place: Mountains, Nashville, country music. People: Hics, country folk, but nice.
Texas Place: Very large, big cities, tornadoes. People: Big hair, loud, self absorbed, but open and friendly.
Utah Place: Rural except Salt Lake City, mountains. People: Mormans, guarded, not overly concerned with the rest of the country.
Vermont Place: That big V shaped park people in NYC go visit. People: White, nice, quiet.
Virginia Place: Colonial, hilly. People: Democrats in north, Republicans in south. Prosperous, happy.
Washington Place: Nature, pretty, Seattle. People: Friendly, clean, white, outdoorsy.
West Virginia Place: All mountains, no cities. People: Coal miners, kinda poor, flat economy. No new people moving in.
Wisconsin Place: Standard Midwestern. Great Lakes, cows. People: Lots of everyone, friendly, dairy farmers.
Wyoming Place: Open, very rural, quiet. People: Cowboys, macho, conservative.

Again, don't start defending these or getting upset, I know they're wrong and I'm not trying to start a "movement".

I'm Just curious, do you recognize any general sterotypes above? Do you have any others? Where did they come from? Media? Word of mouth? Do they go back decades? Do you think people actually believe these, or is it more like the Simpsons where they play them up so obviously - people know they really aren't true.
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2007, 9:10 PM
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Illinois is not associated with Chicago as much as New York is with NYC or California is with LA or SF. There is such a thing as a New York lifestyle (associated with NYC) and there is a California lifestyle, a Florida lifestyle, a Texas lifestyle, etc but not an Illinois lifestyle. When popular culture wants to refer to Chicago its simply called Chicago when Illinois is mentioned by itself usually it conjours up the same imagery as Iowa or Indiana; cornfields and small towns. Its associated with the midwest or the dreaded term "flyover country", heck even Chicago itself fails to escape that from the most ignorant people.

Take a picture of a Lake Michigan beach or harbor in Chicago during the summer time and slap the label "Illinois" on it and the brains of many coastal people would melt even though most of the Illinois population lives in close proximity to it. Chicagoans and suburbanites associate Illinois with Chicagoland and basically dont give downstate any thought, to them Illinois is pretty much just Chicago and a bunch of suburbs, to downstaters its just the opposite many of them dont think of Chicago when they think of Illinois but rather the cornfields and small towns closest to them. Heck one time in High School I wore a sweater that said "Illinois" on it and yet it had part of the Chicago skyline etched into it, it didnt show the whole skyline just boats as if it was taken from the breakwater and the skyline with skysrapers including the Aon Center in it so it wouldnt be very clear to untrained eyes. Anyways, this girl asked me if I was sure that was Chicago, that it could be St. Louis because the water could be the Mississippi River and the picture could have been taken from the Illinois side, never mind the fact that if that were true regardless of where it was taken from it would mostly be showing a Missouri scene. It just blowed my mind that someone could consider St. Louis to be more of an Illinois city than Chicago, but down in Decatur which is closer to St. Louis than Chicago and there are a number of St. Louis suburbs on the Illinois side thats the perspective they are coming from regardless of how strange that sounds to a Chicagoan.
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  #3  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2007, 9:29 PM
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^ Agreed. I never say I'm from Illinois, just Chicago. My mom said it to someone once and without thinking I found myself "correcting" her.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2007, 3:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago View Post
New York Place: New York City. People: Fast moving, loud, annoying.
being from upstate new york, this grates me to no end.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2007, 3:09 AM
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"Minnesota Place: Cold weather, lakes, farms. People: Friendly, white, Rose from Golden Girls."

Yes, I tend to agree with this. Unfortunately, a LOT of people think it's cold ALL THE TIME, even in July!

Crikey, I've never been in a hotter place than Minnesota in August! 98 degrees and 100% humidity!

We all have to laugh about the stereotypes.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2007, 3:39 AM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago View Post
I've been to all 50 states, and I love them all - but if you were to say a state name, this is what would instantly pop into my head before I had a chance to think.

Arizona Place: Empty except for Phoenix, sprawling, beautiful. People: Old people and transplants, riding on Californias coattails.
You owe yourself a return trip--and not to Phoenix. Tucson and Nogales and the land between are definitely not empty and while there's lots of retirees, there's even more young Hispanic people. Oh, and I'd say there's a stronger connection to Mexico than to California in this part of the state.

Quote:
California Place: Very diverse state, two huge cities, desert in south, mountains in north. People: Lots of transplants, feel like the rest of the country are their "accessories". Blonds at the beach, hispanics doing all the manual labor.
You mean "three huge metro areas" unless you want people from San Diego, San Jose, Oakland and some others to come after you. And you need to somehow work the Central Valley, where a good part of your food (like every other American's) comes from, into your stereotype.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2007, 5:34 AM
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Quote:
Oklahoma Place: North of Texas, lots of Native Americans. People: Riding on the coattails of Texas. Unknown really...

For Texas, I will say that the one thing they probably should have added was it's diverse land. Texas is very diverse from swamps to hills to praries to thick forests to desert to plains.
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Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 6:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMancuso View Post
being from upstate new york, this grates me to no end.
same here...
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Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 8:40 PM
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^ i think you and i hail from the same area if i recall. utica?
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 9:49 PM
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I can't imagine having such a narrow minded, ignortant and biased opinion of every state in the US. Overgeneralizations taken to an upsurd new level. Talk about perpetuating bigotry. WOW.
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Old Posted Mar 11, 2007, 2:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago View Post
Pennsylvania Place: Philly/Pitts with a lot of mountains in between. People: Big city on either end, mountain myserious people in between.
Me and EastSideHBG are a couple of those "mysterious mountain people" lol
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2007, 4:24 PM
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We sometimes joke here in Texas that Dallas is the capitol of Oklahoma due to the number of Okies who migrate to DFW eventually.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2007, 2:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
You owe yourself a return trip--and not to Phoenix. Tucson and Nogales and the land between are definitely not empty and while there's lots of retirees, there's even more young Hispanic people. Oh, and I'd say there's a stronger connection to Mexico than to California in this part of the state.



You mean "three huge metro areas" unless you want people from San Diego, San Jose, Oakland and some others to come after you. And you need to somehow work the Central Valley, where a good part of your food (like every other American's) comes from, into your stereotype.
Ha, I said this isn't what I think personally by any means, it's STEREOTYPES. I've never been to Phoenix either, I've just criss-crossed the rest of the state.

I don't think your average joe-shmo in anywhere US realizes how much food is grown in Cali either, they just think LA, San Fran, liberals and the beach.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2007, 2:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tocoto View Post
I can't imagine having such a narrow minded, ignortant and biased opinion of every state in the US. Overgeneralizations taken to an upsurd new level. Talk about perpetuating bigotry. WOW.
Exactly, I thank God every day I'm nowhere near that category!

I'm saying if you scream out a state name in front of some random person who's never stepped foot in the state, it's amazing what some people will come up with...
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2007, 8:34 PM
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Quote:
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We sometimes joke here in Texas that Dallas is the capitol of Oklahoma due to the number of Okies who migrate to DFW eventually.
Very true! I know lots of people who came to Oklahoma for relatively cheap college and then head back to the Metroplex or Houston.

Good generalizations, I would guess most of the country except those that have actually traveled quite a bit around the U.S. still believe a lot of them. Actually most of them are pretty dead on as far as 'generalizations' go.
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Old Posted May 19, 2007, 2:29 AM
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You got Alaska right.
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Old Posted May 20, 2007, 12:39 AM
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I don't stereotype anyone...it's kind of lame to assume people are alike in any way just because of a certain trait or characteristic they share, or especially because of geography.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 20, 2007, 4:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago View Post

New Jersey Place: Philly, NYC. People: The other half of NYC, cliche, loud mouths.
LOUD MOUTHS??


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Old Posted Jun 1, 2007, 1:26 AM
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When I think of Wisconsin stereotypes 3 things come to mind: beer, cheese and the Green Bay Packers.
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Old Posted Jun 6, 2007, 4:07 AM
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Yeah, a lot of those are popular outside impressions of the states, for good or ill.

Quote:
Mississippi Place: Deep south, rural areas. People: Low education, race issues, struggling.
I'll try to add a little to this one.
A lot of us in the region also think "casinos" when we think of Mississippi.

In terms of people, one thing that stands out to me about MS is the sizable rural black population.

Some Mississippians will point out their state's list of successful writers, musicians, actors, and artists, but that seems to be more of a state pride thing than how MS is viewed from outside.
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