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Unformatted text preview: s, the distribution of Kappa Alpha chapters, and most importantly for our
purposes, the frequency of the words “Dixie” and “Southern” in business names.
Reed’s scholarship was important for many reasons—one of which is that his work
combined the cultural, historical, and anthropological perspectives that had long
dominated the study of the South with a quantitative approach that was emerging in the mainstream social sciences. Reed’s work on naming patterns also reinforces the importance of place names, or toponyms, as a clue to shared identity.
Take for example a city that chooses to rename a street for Martin Luther King Jr.
This naming is certainly an acknowledgment of King’s celebrated legacy, but it is
also a symbolic gesture to the African American community. We can learn a great
deal about the changing South by examining the battles over street naming. After
all, renaming a street in honor of King in a predominantly black section of town
sends a very different message than renaming a street in the heart of the (presumably majority white) central business district.6
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This document was uploaded on 01/20/2014.
- Spring '14