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Author Topic: City and Country
Beppie
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As a uni student who lives in the city, but went to high school in the country, I've noticed that there can be some pretty profound differences between kids who grow up in rural areas and kids who grow up in suburban or urban areas. It's not just that people tend to be more open minded in the city (although that's not always the case); it's also that kids from the city seem to have a different sense of self and where they're going in life.

Does anyone else have thoughts on the topic? What are some of the differences that you have observed between people from the city as opposed to people from the country? Do you find differences between the gender roles and sexual stereotypes in the two places, or do you think they are more similar than many people think?


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Heather
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What a fantastic topic.

I grew up in very urban areas (mainly Chicago, and also New York, San Diego, Philadelphia), and usually the pooer sections, all my life, although because my father was d a draft-resister, the first years of my life were spent tucked away in Amish farmland. Recently, having moved to the Twin Cities, I am in the least urban area I have ever lived in. Frankly, seeing Pro-Life billboards right on the main drag makes me drop my jaw. having people stare at me on the street because of tattoos, ppiercings, and a general nonconformity is something I'm really not used to. You want someone to stare you down in Chicago, you've got to be holding a gun, or look like a tourist.

I know growing up that I took a lot of things for granted: I rarely experienced bigotry, or a lack of diversity, homophobia, or overall, people who just hadn't seen the things I had. It's hard to say, though, how diffrent it really is simply because cities are SO saturated with people. Namly, if we all don't get along, we're bound to kill each other. I think it is harder to get away with certain levels of intolerance in the city than it is in rural areas, or places where there are simply less people all mushed together.


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Pixie69
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Well I've never been to the "country" but I have been to different sides of town and I've spent many hours on a train talking to some small town boyscouts so I have an opinion here. Well I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and it's really open (except for some adults). My mom used to always tease my brother and his friends because they had been friends since they were like, 5. My brother is Mexican, one friend is half African, half American, one friend is Chinese, and one friend is Thai. So that just shows you that all kinds of people are here. And at my school a lot of girls have babies (sad I know), people have tattoos and peircings and lots of different haircolors. So I guess I'm lucky that way. No one cared when I dyed my hair pink or blue except for my family. On the other hand on the train with the boyscouts, well they kind of freaked when I said that I couldn't wait to get to my destination because I was dyeing my hair blue once we got there. And that was about the last I heard of them. So that just shows you....

Britt


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bettie
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I grew up in the suburbs. Any tension we have in my province is based on language and culture, not race. There were, and still are, intolerances between people, but more often based on whether you are an anglophone or a fracaphone or an allophone, not on the way that you look. It seems that what you look like is not as important as what you say and how you say it. However, when you get to the big city there is a great deal more diversity and in my experience more tolerance and understanding.

I first realized the difference between my suburb upbringing and those of the city when my best friend attend a city school for the arts. Her school mates were much more diverse than my suburb school mates. They dressed differently and were more independent. More students had come out than at my school. They also seemed to be more sexually active and at a younger age. It was shocking to me. Of course, wild stuff went on where I lived, but I only vaguely knew about it.


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Rhiannon
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I've seen this many times in my life; the difference is astounding. I used to live in the Midwest..differences between small towns and the cities was quite evident. When I moved to California I noticed a major difference--the two regions are like night and day. Not only is SoCal more racially, ethnically, and culturally mixed but out here, anything goes pretty much. In general, I noticed where I lived in the Midwest was VERY conservative whereas CA fits my personality much more. Although even here there are distinct differences among the regions. For example, Orange Co. is very middle-of-the-road, Riverside Co. is pretty conservative, San Diego is laid back and tolerant, and Los Angeles is fast-paced and sometimes downright wild. Basically EVERY place you go has its own unique flavor...this is why I love to travel (if only I could afford to..hehe).

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But that's just my two cents..


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angelic-demon
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I go to a college in central Illinois, most people who go to my school are either from Chicago or from farms downstate. When my mother got back from the parents meeting, she was telling me that you could tell who was from where because the Chicago and suburb parents had dies hair, were wearing capri pants and looked a lot younger than the farm parents, who my mother described as "frumpy and dowdy." This really confused my mother. "Dont they know that fifty isnt really that ancient? Dont they get the same magazines and TV down there" My personal opinion is that city and country people are very different, but each is very interesting in its own way
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lemming
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Well, I've lived in the suburbs of Houston all my life, and I'm moving to urban Chicago really soon. It's really sheltered and conservative here, and I remember when I went to visit my school, feeling wonderful to be not only in a place with so many more people who *yes! Miz Scarlet!* wouldn't stare at me for piercings and green hair. But I'm also kinda worried about another phenomenon, which I think could be combined with this topic.

Has anyone here moved from the South to the North, the East to the West, or vice-versa-visa-verso?? Or from one country to another?

just in the few days I visited, I had culture shock - people weren't as personable...and I CAN'T GET DR PEPPER IN RESTAURANTS! BUT THAT DARN GINGER ALE IS EVERYWHERE!!!

Let me know what you think.
~lemming

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"...The premium work of They Might Be Giants is what we want people to pay for. Unless they can figure out some way to get it for free." ~John Linnell, of TMBG


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Lady Moonlight
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Lemming, I moved from Texas to northwest Missouri when I was 15, and it was one of the most difficult periods of my life. Being 15 is hard enough, and learning to adjust to a different culture at the same time was just awful. I had a hard time making friends and I was very depressed for a long time.

Looking back now, though, I'm glad I had that experience, because I learned a lot and I can interact comfortably with people from lots of different regions of the U.S.


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vyze
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it is weird, I live in a kinda rural area, Cape Cod, and here, if 15 year olds are dating 19-21 year olds.. no one seems to care!
but my friend, meg, is 22 and I am 19, and she is from nevada, and it was 'wrong' for her to date someone 3 years younger than her, but 'okay' for her to date a 29 year old

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Dzuunmod
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I'm going to assume that I'm in roughly the same place as bettie, here. I grew up in Ottawa, a city of about a million people in Ontario, Canada. It's the capital of Canada, and for most of my life in it, it was full of government workers -- a pretty conservative, perhaps even boring lot. It's a nice enough place, but too small town-ish, I think, for my tastes. So, last year, I started at university in Montreal, a primarily French-speaking city about three-times larger. I do speak the language well enough to get by, but in a city where it's the mother tongue for most people, I still stand out as an anglophone. It's a trying life, from day-to-day, worrying about which language you'll speak when you get to the cash at, say, the grocery store. Sometimes, if you speak English to the wrong person, they turn on you. I can understand French, and I can speak it fairly well, but it's with a pretty thick Anglo accent -- even that's enough to get some people to turn on me. And now, next month, I'll be moving to a part of the city with an even higher proportion of French-speaking folks, I'm a bit worried!
On the topic of differences between Ottawa and here, though, I do notice that people here are definetly more open about almost everything. That's something that I'm growing quite fond of.

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HotGrrl99
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I grew up in a couple of so called "exclusive" suburban areas. Mostly rich White people, no poor people and very little of any other races or cultures. They really seemed to be doing everything they could to keep poorer people out! Mostly we were taught by our parents to "stay away from the riff raff" in the cities, because city people tended to be "poor, low class and somewhat dangerous". Also loads of inner city kids seem to get pregnant, have kids at an early age without getting married, and are into very hard drugs and prostitution. There are drugs in my area, but mostly pot and mild stuff, not crack and heroine. Also there is plenty of sex going on over here, but kids seem to be into using condoms and birth control a lot more than the city kids we know.

[This message has been edited by HotGrrl99 (edited July 29, 2000).]


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NYCFashionista
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Well, I've lived in NYC all my life, and the city is EXTREMELY diverse and open to just about everything! Also, what I found out recently about NYC is that, a higher percentage of black people live in NYC than any other race, so we are definitely not bigoted.......though if you talk to some people, they aren't homophobic, but aren't comfortable with it....but there from the Upper East Side most of the time (for non-manhattanites, the upper east side is a very rich and elitist part of the city)
Anyway......
I could NEVR imagine living in the suburbs! I think I would die....but if I grew up in the suburbs then it would be normal, of course....I dunno, I'm city born and bred!
-NYCFashionista
thecitybelle@hotmail.com

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Zanney
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Well I've been a bit on both sides.

quote:
I grew up in a couple of so called "exclusive" suburban areas. Mostly rich White people, no poor people and very little of any other races or cultures.

For the most part, that was me too. Unfortunate, really, because it is very much a closed-in kind of world, and I never really got much exposure to other people, other ideas and different ways. Even my school was a private one with the same kind of demographics, so even now, at 18, I still see a lot that "makes me drop my jaw".

I started college in Australia in Julyish, and that was quite a steep learning curve, and I kind of realised how sheltered my life had been, and to be honest - I didn't appreciate it all that much! My uni here is a regional one, in a big city but with a lot of "country kids" living here. So you get an interesting mix. From what I've seen of them, they tend to be quite open and friendly, whereas the city kids tend to view you as "competition". I don't know whether that is because kids from smaller towns grow up with a greater sense of community, or have smaller classes or what. (And this isn't at all a generalisation, it's just what I've noticed so far).

quote:
Has anyone here moved from the South to the North, the East to the West, or vice-versa-visa-verso?? Or from one country to another? just in the few days I visited, I had culture shock

I swear I will NEVER adapt to the Australian culture. Its just little things spelling, the money conversion (my money comes from a US bank, and I still think in US dollars, which can get messy sometimes). Hell, even the POWER SWITCHES are different. We drive on a different side of the road (here, my right turns are too tight and my lefts are too wide). I hate sounding different (sorry if this gripe is getting too common), but I hate getting bailed up to chat about US foreign policy! In fact, there is little I hate more.

So, Lemming, I know what you mean when you say culture shock! But, in essence, there is not a lot of difference between the two countries. If you go outside, look around, talk to people - other than the accent, it would be hard to pick which side of the world you are actually on!


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badly_behaved_badger
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I've grown up in quite a lot of different environments so I suppose I should put in my thoughts...I'm living in rural England at the moment but before that I lived in an urban area in Scotland. Big differences. I have to disagree with the statement that people in towns and cities are more open minded - it simply hasn't been true for me. Perhaps it's because I was living in a very run down area, but there was a lot more racial discrimination and predjudice where I used to live.

I think kids in cities grow up a lot more streetwise than rural children, of course there are exceptions, but going to an inner-city school, life is a lot more survival-based, you're either predator or prey and that kind of environment forces people to grow up faster. Having said that, there is a lot of intolerance and ignorance in rural areas, but I think the way people show it is more subtle.

Rural areas have less of a racial mixture, so I think there are less racist crimes simply because there is less opportunity for them to happen. I think the differences between country and city are exaggerated by the stereotyped ideas people have about them e.g. 'people who live in the country are backward and predjudiced' or 'people who live in cities are all prostitutes'. I just think I'm lucky to have seen both worlds and both sides of the story
*Badger*

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"Dear Lord, the gods have been good to me. As an offering, I present these milk and cookies. If you wish me to eat them instead, please give me no sign whatsoever... thy will be done (munch munch munch.)" -Homer Simpson


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Gumdrop Girl
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I grew up in a fading California oil town. Lots of blue collar folks. Economy is slow and entirely dependent of fossil fuels and factory farms. People live simply. The nearest town is Bakersfield, and that's about 40 miles out.

To give you an idea of how things are in a place like that, let me say: my town was a KKK stronghold in the 70's; Planned Parenthood was burned to the ground when I was in high school; and I developed the nasty habit of never locking my car doors.

I moved to Berkeley for college when I was 17, and it was quite a switch. People in cities have different priorities than people from farm-country. For one thing, not many people go to college. I was one of a very small handful to go to a 4-year university, esp. one that isn't religiously affiliated. Many of my friends and peers who stayed are married and/or with children.

Attitudes towards sex and gender are conservative and Christian. No one wanted to talk about sex, and yet given my high school's far-above-state-average teen pregnancy rate, a lot of people were having it. One girl admitted to having an abortion, and she was stigmatized for a very long time. Homophobia was rampant. While no one assaulted the openly gay kids, there were snickers, sneers and talk of how homosexuality is a mortal sin.

Fast forward to life in Berkeley, and well, it's just across the water from San Francisco, one of the most sexually liberated cities in the world. I don't live too far from the celebrated Good Vibrations sex-store cooperative. Condoms are in plentiful supply on campus. And it's Tuesday, meaning Teresa's written another brilliant Sex on Tuesday column for the school paper.

ahh c'est la vie!

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"Things are only fragile till they break."


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CutiePie4eva
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i went to a summer program for a week in massachusetts, and there were girls from all over the USA. on the last night, we all slept in one girl's dorm... well... not slept... talked all night long is more like it. lol

i found out that the girls who were from states in the middle of the country seemed a lot more... innocent (i guess you could say). they were in shock of the thought of making out (meaning frenching) with people you didnt know, and when i was talking about people I know who have given oral sex they turned white. they seriously did not know people really did that.

I was talking about how i had once gone to a club and frenched a guy i didnt kno, and one girl started lecturing me about how i could do something like that. it was really wierd, cause i lecture my friends about not having sex with people they dont know. i felt like the table had turned... and i was getting the lecture, except it was about just frenching.

one girl told us what she considered the bases; it was so cute! i sometimes wish i was that innocent. awww!
1st - friendship, 2nd - holding hands, 3rd - hugging, 4th - boyfriend

anywat... i dont kno... mayb it was just those few people, but now my automatic assumption is that people from places in the middle states of the US (like Oklahoma) are really innocent.

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dont worrie b happie... its like a law! =)

hunt for clothes NOT for animals. =)


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cupcake
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cupcake's turns in life.....

West to East, Alberta (north of montana) to Ottawa (north of Vermont)
- total difference between cities. Alberta is so much more fun, and liberated. Things aren't taken nearly as seriously. Ottawa's really straightlaced, and there's a totally different sense of humour. On a wierder note, while being all hyper-sconservative, Ottawa hasn't seemed to have grown up out of the boyz-in-the-hood style stage (aka pants around the butt) We're ghetto.... or not.

Rural France to Ottawa
-it takes forever to get anywhere when you live out in the country. People tend be much more localized with their friends and stuff, and are much more school oriented. Some serious innocence there, but that's a cultural thing.
-I dyed my hair blue while I was tehre... had I done it in Ottawa, poeple would've maybe made faces, pulled their coats a little tighter, etc. In France, in itty-bitty town of 2000 people max, they're openly jeer you.


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