ethnographic project FINAL

ethnographic project FINAL - Balloga Martin 1 Abram Balloga...

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Balloga, Martin, 1 Abram Balloga & Melissa Martin TA: Mukta Lama   Ethnographic Project 11/29/2006 Rural and Urban Polarization In our society, groups can be seen as a type of safeguard against that which is not familiar to us. Groups that we find uphold and share common beliefs and ideals that are important to us serve as a home base that allows us to feel that others respect and also identify with as well. These can range from religious groups to groups based on other commonalities such as gender or race. Also many people belong to groups which are so large, they do not realize that they are a member. One prime example of this is political groups. A person may say they are a democrat and vote the democratic ticket, yet they do not need to belong to a certain “democratic group” to be able to do so. It is also not as apparent as to which political party one belongs to; it is not something as obvious as one’s race or gender. There are many visible voting trends that may be observed in various demographics. We believed that one can find a cultural link to urban versus rural voting habits. We analyzed these voting trends as compared to where one resides as a form of identification. The question we explored is whether or not ones population density gives an indication as to what political affiliations one holds. On one end of this spectrum, there is a formation of a group that is not easily identifiable, yet we would like to think it is. It is commonly believed that those that reside in more urban areas tend to hold much more liberal beliefs than their conservative counterparts in small rural towns. In order to test this theory, we interviewed people who identify themselves with each group. Interviewees were chosen based on how well they represent an outsiders view of a typical group member.
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Balloga, Martin, 2 One interviewee, who we will call Joe, is a 19 year old male residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts while attending Emerson College. He clearly affirmed that he identifies best with the Democratic Party and therefore considers himself a liberal. He went on to say that he believes that most college students who live in urban areas tend to be more liberal minded, since most of the issues that young adults are faced with nowadays have gained the attention of the Democratic Party. Issues that most young adults are faced with, such as abortion rights, gay rights and taxes, are issues that are given tremendous attention by democrats and this allows the democratic party to attract those that are most affected by the decisions made on these issues. This is the reason why, as expressed by Joe, that the democratic/liberal party attracts young adults the way it does; it gives attention to those issues that most directly affect the majority of the population that lives in urban areas. When asked what he thought about those that pertained to the opposite political party and also lived in an urban area, he believed that
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