paper 2 - Balloga 1 Abram Balloga TA Magnus Fiskesj...

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Balloga, 1 Abram Balloga TA: Magnus Fiskesjö Identity/Alterity 10/17/2006 American Cultural Divide A great divide between peoples exists in modern America. This chasm is not between the sexes, races, ethnicities, or sexual orientations. Rather, it is on a grander scale, encompassing all of these touchy categories. Myself, growing up in rural Colorado was ignorant to the full extent of this problem. Having traveled frequently to and from large cities I was aware of the different pro’s and con’s of living in the country versus the city. However, studying at Cornell has brought me to the realization that there actually exists a substantial cultural divide. In providing a culture shock to many of my colleagues, I have learned from them and am convinced that this issue deserves more attention. This paper introduces a discussion on the cultural barrier between rural and urban America. On this subject, I have many personal experiences as evidence, but due to the professor’s request for no interviews, I will rely instead upon the 2004 presidential election for support. Before discussing how each group views the other, I want to briefly touch on some stereotypical differences between urban and rural communities. Two major topics which help define the culture of a group are how they make a living, and how they spend leisure time. Comparing the two provides some background understanding of why the two ways of life have separate priorities. Recreation available mostly to city people includes, concerts, clubs, eating out, shopping, and amusement parks. Though deficient in such mass entertainment, country people have easy access to other recreation such as mountain biking, hiking, skiing, hunting, water sports, fishing, motor sports, and many
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Balloga, 2 other outdoor activities. Also, the economies differ greatly. Rural areas are more likely to rely on resource gathering such as mining, farming, or ranching. Whereas urban America is central for business, communications, and industry. I believe that a combination of job and spare time priorities is responsible for defining much of an American’s lifestyle and consequently his or her culture. The relation between these lifestyles can be discussed with grammars.
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