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Resilience of Southern IdentityWhy the South Still Matters in the Minds of Its People$
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Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631059

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631059.001.0001

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Southern Identity by the Numbers

Southern Identity by the Numbers

(p.48) Chapter Three Southern Identity by the Numbers
Resilience of Southern Identity

Christopher A. Cooper

H. Gibbs Knotts

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter reviews the results of an original survey of southerners about the South and southern identity. Much of chapter 3 is focused on the answers to a single question that has been asked time and time again throughout the years: “Do you consider yourself a southerner, or not?” By examining these answers from a number of different angles, this chapter shows that geographic southerners have responded in the affirmative with surprising consistency. Answers to this question are also combined with demographic characteristics of survey respondents to provide a profile of people who are more or less likely to consider themselves southerners over time. One key finding of this investigation is that blacks and whites today are equally likely to identify as southerners. Though race does not predict southern identity, we discover that blacks hold different opinions than whites on issues related to important regional symbols. When considered as a whole, the answers to these survey questions suggest that people are constructing their own conceptions of what it means to be a southerner.

Keywords:   Southern identity, South, Black southerners, Surveys, Public Opinion, Regional symbols

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