Essay about A Separate And Distinct Region Within The United States

1317 Words Nov 6th, 2016 6 Pages
Throughout this course we’ve examined Appalachia as a separate and distinct region within the United States. The question of whether it’s a subculture or a colony is rather muddy at best. The Oxford Dictionary defines subculture as: “A cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture”. While this is true of Appalachia to some degree, the problem lies within its geographical area and the large number of subcultures that live in that area. Central Appalachia is comprised of mostly Scots-Irish descendants for example, while Northern Appalachia had many Germanic and other Slavic settlers. This produces a problem in defining Appalachia as a subculture, specifically because no single culture dominates; there is no specific set of parameters to define Appalachia in that context. For example, while snake-handling as a religious practice may seem natural in Jolo, WV, if one travels 114 miles north to Charleston WV, that practice is deemed “ludicrous” at best. Cultural and religious beliefs – in fact, entire social constructs – can differ from “holler” to “holler” in WV alone, and we haven’t even considered the other states that comprise just the southern or central parts of Appalachia. Given this, one can’t readily say that Appalachia is a subculture, primarily because there is no single culture that can be designated as “Appalachian”, and serve as a marker to identify the region. So, does this mean Appalachia is a…

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