Mea­sur­ing South­ern­ness

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION -

In an ef­fort to iden­tify South­ern iden­tity, Christo­pher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts searched an on­line phone direc­tory for busi­ness names that be­gan with or in­cluded “Dixie” or “South­ern” in 100 U.S. cities. Method­ol­ogy The re­searchers counted the num­ber of busi­nesses that had the words “Amer­i­can,” “Dixie” or “South­ern” in their names. They di­vided the num­ber us­ing “Dixie” by the num­ber us­ing “Amer­i­can” to ar­rive at a ra­tio they call the “D score.” They did the same with busi­nesses us­ing “South­ern” to ar­rive at an “S score.” Map­ping D scores The use of “Dixie” in a busi­ness name was in­ter­preted as sug­gest­ing a strong iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with the Old South. The map be­low re­flects the D scores of var­i­ous states.

By com­bin­ing D and S scores, Cooper and Knotts

iden­ti­fied a three-tiered South:

“South­ern to the core” Alabama Louisiana Mis­sis­sippi

“Pretty darn South­ern” Arkansas Ge­or­gia Ken­tucky North Carolina South Carolina

Ten­nessee

NOTE: Cooper and Knotts ex­cluded the gro­cery chain Winn-Dixie in their re­search. Map cat­e­gories are quar­tiles.

“Sorta South­ern”

Florida Ok­la­homa

Vir­ginia West Vir­ginia

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