Linguistic Anthropology

The study of language has been part of anthropology since the discipline started in the 1ate 1870s. This site is a place for linguistic anthropologists to post their work and discuss important events and trends in the field.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Human geography and political campaigning

BLDGBLOG has a very interesting piece on the treatment of urban versus rural landscapes in US political discourse. Despite the fact that about 83% of Americans live in metropolitan areas, rural areas are frequently evoked as "authentically" American and opposed to "elite" urban areas. BLDGBLOG suggests that a political focus on "authentic" (rural) America is therefore "questionable at best."
My point here is not that we should just swap landscapes in order to be in touch with the majority of the American population – going to this city instead of to that town, visiting this urban football team instead of that rural hockey league, stopping by this popular Asian restaurant instead of that pie-filled diner (though I would be very interested to explore this hypothesis). I simply want to point out that political campaigning in the United States seems almost deliberately to take place in a landscape that no longer has genuine relevance to the majority of U.S. citizens.

It's well worth a read.

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