Subculture Paper - Tim Sheldon Professor Arlt SOA 101...

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Tim Sheldon Professor Arlt SOA 101 4/17/14 Subculture Having grown up in Alma, Michigan, I feel as though this city has raised me. In all honesty, this city has played a huge role in shaping who I am today. After going through Alma Public Schools, I then chose to continue my education by enrolling at Alma College. All of my life, I had assumed that the city of Alma was just one big, collective culture. This is not at all the case. Now that I have grown up and experienced more of Alma’s different communities, I see that it contains several subcultures. One of these subcultures is Alma College and its community of academia. I chose the Alma College subculture to contrast against the culture of the city of Alma as a whole because I am one of the few who can truly make this comparison. Very few people can say that they were born and raised in Alma, and even fewer can say that they also went to Alma College as well. Although the college resides within the city, there are major differences between the two. Having experienced each culture firsthand, I can certainly confirm this. However, I carry the opinion of only one person. I believe that I am also quite biased towards the city that raised me, and because of this I am always eager to experience the two cultures from other perspectives. Mainly, there are three perspectives that can be analyzed: those who live in Alma but do have not attended Alma College, those that have attended Alma College but do not live in Alma, and those that have both lived in the city of Alma and attended Alma College. In order to conduct research on the two communities, I chose to use Observational
Research. Specifically, my research was primarily interviews as well as informal meetings. This, I believe, allowed me to gain the hard facts and definite answers to any questions that I rose as well as using informal meetings to avoid any side effects that might arise during formal interviewing. Through interviewing and other meetings, I learned a lot about both cultures. When some people think of the city of Alma, they think of a small town between Luce Road and the highway US 127 that’s south of Shepherd and north of Ithaca. Alma is much more than that. Alma is the small businesses downtown. Alma is the school system that inspires students to achieve. Alma is the friendly, neighborly, first name basis that you are on with everyone everywhere you go. At a glance, Alma is just like every other low-key farming community in America. We grow cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, corn, beets, and we put on fairs to celebrate the seasons. What sets Alma apart is how different it is from generic farm towns. Sure, Alma has the cliché, family owned pizzeria, café, ice cream shop, and other small businesses. In Alma, there is also a theater where you can go see the Gratiot County Players perform classic and modern plays. Just at the end of business main street, there is both a movie cinema as well as a bowling alley providing two outlets for townsfolk to get away from Alma for an afternoon or two. On top of all this, Alma features a very well-known institution called Alma College. Alma

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