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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which state exhibits the characteristic that are most stereotypically "American"?

My vote would either go to Missouri or Ohio....and I gues I would lean most towards Ohio.

Ohio is an industrial state, but also has lots of rural farmland. It's a Great Lakes state that has some traits of the East Coast, but is Midwestern as well and has a bit of the Mountain South bordering Kentucky and West Virginia. Plus, it's always a toss up in every election with very liberal enclaves and deeply conservative areas too.

What do you think?
 

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New Jersey always seems like the typical American state to me. When I think of the typical American life people picture for themselves or in books or whatever, they see someone living in a small town with Victorian architecture, surrounded by farmland where a wealth of crops grow, close to a big city, and a short drive from the ocean. South Jersey personifies this. There are a lot of Bruce Springsteen songs about his life in New Jersey that I think a lot of people can relate to.

A lot of the modern things that we are famous for were invented or became prominent in New Jersey: the drive-in theater, the New Jersey Turnpike, Doo *** motel architecture, etc.
 

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All American City Boy
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I don't really see this as a valid OP question. There are many states that are very American in their own way. Texas, Cali, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Florida... all represent very different ways of life but are all very American. Trying to pinpoint "the most American" is an exercise without end. Possibly, which 10 states influence the image of America the most to the rest of the world, might be a better question. But when some people say "America" some think NYC, some think cowboys in Texas, and some think surfers in California. There is no one singular state that can be credited for the image of a country so large and diverse.
 

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One Brickell CityCentre
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HomrQT has a point.
 

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PRESIDENT OF SPACE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St.PauliBoy
Which state exhibits the characteristic that are most stereotypically "American"?

My vote would either go to Missouri or Ohio....and I gues I would lean most towards Ohio.
God help us.
I know, right?

To be fair I also think Ohio and Indiana are pretty much "generic USA" if such a thing existed. Iowa is too rural to be part of the club. Unfortunately those midwestern states also encapsulate a lot of what is going wrong in the US right now IMO.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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Actually, I think it's an absurd question. America is what you find in every state. Ohio is typical of nothing but Ohio and I think stereotypical Ohio is actually dying. Ohio isn't dying but what most people think it's like--and perhaps what it once was like--is dying. Northern California, Hawaii, Florida, Alaska, New York . . . those are American every bit as much as the midwest, just a different part of America and probably more like the America of the future.
 

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Unfortunately those midwestern states also encapsulate a lot of what is going wrong in the US right now IMO.
What exactly is that, may I ask?

Northern California, Hawaii, Florida, Alaska, New York . . . those are American every bit as much as the midwest, just a different part of America and probably more like the America of the future.
Just how insular and backward do you think the Midwest is?
 

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Oh No He Didn't
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What exactly is that, may I ask?

Just how insular and backward do you think the Midwest is?
Well I don't think the Midwest is backward per say but it's no secret that the East Coast, Florida, Texas, and the West Coast are more diverse overall as far as immigration and ethnic makeup is concerned than most places in the Midwest excluding Chicago, Twin Cities, and Detroit so you could say those areas I mentioned earlier are more representative of future trends then say places like Ohio, Indiana, or Missouri.

Anyways I don't really think there is a typical "American" state because every state in their own way contributes to the identity of the US from NYC, to the deserts of Arizona, and the farmlands of Nebraska.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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Just how insular and backward do you think the Midwest is?
Well, what I actually had in mind was population, California and Hawaii being "minority majority" states with New York to follow probably. I think all of America is going to become less white and more "minority" over time. That, of course, will make whites a "minority" too.

From there, I just picked a bunch of places as different from the midwest as possible, geographically and otherwise.

It's interesting you chose to view what I said so defensively. You must harbor your own doubts. But please don't overlook my basic point--there is no such thing as a single state or region that typifies America.

By the way--there is one good thing I know about Ohio. I kind of like John Kasich even though I can't see myself voting Republican. But the fact that he appeals to me probably dooms his career.
 

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Columbus OH is "Test Market USA" for a slew of retail and service companies. P&G and all its brands demo their new product launches and national marketing campaigns in Columbus half a year before national releases. Same deal with Yum Brands, PepsiCo, Coke, Gap Inc. and a bunch of other fast fashion retailers, Carlson Companies (TGI Friday's, Radisson, Park Plaza, etc.) and more all do this.

Columbus supposedly mirrors national demographic and income distributions more closely than any other metropolitan area in the country and is thus considered "most typical".

So maybe Ohio isn't such a bad answer after all? :dunno:
 

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Likely a Midwestern state, if you simply break things down by the 4 main racial groups Illinois comes closer to the national average than any other state. Of course thats not taking into account the ethnicity inside each group.

edit: I guess this thread is about stereotypical America, so Im going with Ohio.
 

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It's interesting you chose to view what I said so defensively. You must harbor your own doubts.
Oh, sure. The classic "you found one of my statements vaguely condescending, so you must obviously have a complex" line. Pomposity 101.

The part that I found off-putting and contradictory was when you said "[these areas] are more like the America of the future". Using your own reasoning, wouldn't all of America be like the America of the future? Do you not think that is also an absurd statement?

Anyway, I agree with you on your first point being "there's no such thing as a 'most American' state". It's just like when politicians refer to "real America" or "real Americans". All of America is the "real" America.
 

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Columbus OH is "Test Market USA" for a slew of retail and service companies. P&G and all its brands demo their new product launches and national marketing campaigns in Columbus half a year before national releases. Same deal with Yum Brands, PepsiCo, Coke, Gap Inc. and a bunch of other fast fashion retailers, Carlson Companies (TGI Friday's, Radisson, Park Plaza, etc.) and more all do this.

Columbus supposedly mirrors national demographic and income distributions more closely than any other metropolitan area in the country and is thus considered "most typical".

So maybe Ohio isn't such a bad answer after all? :dunno:
Columbus is everyman USA indeed. It's not a bad place but it's somewhat bland.

I still contend PA is more "average" though. It has all the Rust Belt characteristics that OH has, but more scenery and diverse culture.
 

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In Search of Sanity
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The part that I found off-putting and contradictory was when you said "[these areas] are more like the America of the future". Using your own reasoning, wouldn't all of America be like the America of the future? Do you not think that is also an absurd statement?
No, I don't. I think areas with majority minority populations and the cultural mix that comes with that are "more like the America of the future" and the Missouris and Ohios, while they may be getting more of that every year, that is NOT what makes people argue they are "most American".

What I think is a little absurd is your defensiveness and the ad hominem nature of a number of your comments. You have so far called me pompous and condescending for stating my opinion and I see nothing in what I said that's either.

I post about states. You post about me.

You might look in the mirror. If necessary stick your tongue out and get it out of your system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Actually, I think it's an absurd question. America is what you find in every state.
The reason I posted this is because I get asked this question constantly by my Japanese and Korean colleagues who come to the US on business. Many of them want to see "real Ameica" which, of course, exists in every state, but I always try to give them an approximation of what is stereotypically most "American" and I always seem to come up with Ohio or Missouri both of which exhibit traits of many different regions of the country.
 
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