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 What is your cultural capital? 
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Location: Boone, NC
I really enjoyed today's class because it made me realize a lot about the world around me. I am from a middle class, Christian family from the rural South. I would say I had it pretty good growing up. Since cultural capital corresponds with your set of values, beliefs, norms, attitudes, and experiences, the things I just listed (middle class, Christian, rural, South) would have a deep impact on my cultural capital. For example, one of the social resources I have obtained throughout the years is manners (saying yes ma'm, no ma'm, and so on). Since I come from a small town, I have learned that you do not say anything bad about someone to anyone else because more than likely they either know them or are related to them. Therefore, I have to be careful about what I say or do when I am out in public. News, or gossip rather, spreads like wildfire in Rutherford County, NC (or "Small Town Friendly"). I have also grown up around many traditional Southern ladies. Therefore, I have learned what is appropriate to do (what food to serve, what to wear, and what gifts to buy) at a wedding shower, a baby shower, a family get-together, or having guests over. I have also learned what is appropriate in church, and I am deeply rooted in my beliefs and values. Also, living in a rural area has also provided me with many "redneck" things as some might say. I know how to ride a four-wheeler (when to change the gears, how to change the oil, etc.), how to plant a garden, how to shoot guns, how to fish and hunt, how to build a huge bonfire, and many other country things. I appreciate all these things, and I am very blessed to be surrounded by all the people who have taught them to me. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I was also intrigued when Dr. Turner said that we should not be ashamed of our accents, etc. I have had a personal incident that relates to this. I obviously talk Southern, and when I was speaking one day, someone told me I needed to quit dropping the "g" at the end of my words. For example, "Today, I went fishin." I was taken aback. That is how I, and everyone else I know from home speaks. It's just as natural as "sayin" ya'll! I felt like I had to be ashamed or watch carefully how I spoke to please this person. I know how to use correct grammar, but an accent should not be a factor in this. Also, you may find it suprising, that I thought everyone in the South spoke the same up until a few years ago. I thought the people I heard speaking differently must be from somewhere else. However, I went to Raleigh for a Leadership Conference in 11th grade, and I found that some people who were born and raised in North Carolina had a completely different accent than me! They sounded like they were from up north. I have travelled all over the country, so I feel that I have a good understanding of how certain people are in certain places. I just remember being shocked because I thought all Southern people had the same, or nearly the same, dialect.

Finally, I was wondering, "What is your cultural capital?"

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Heather Holland Crow


Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:51 pm
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I was raised much the same way as Heather. I am a southern baptist who was raised with what people would consider "BAPTIST" morals. I don't think I am ashamed of my cultural background, however sometimes I find myself being more cautious of how I talk around some people. I definitely have a Southern "hick" accent and when I'm talking of people of more "sophisticated" backgrounds I make sure I put the "g" on the end so it's fishing and not fishin'. I think I'm going to have to be cautious of this when I get into my own classroom. Sometimes I think I can tell that my cultural capital is not equal with everyone elses. I realized this today in our small groups because we talked about how being from different classes and different backgrounds made a difference in what track they were on as well as whether they would take the SAT or not.

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Jessica Mundy


Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:59 pm
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I would venture to say that I have one of the most heavy southern accents in the class, so I can identify with Heather on this one. I have often been treated like I was dumb and have even been asked questions like "are you sure you understand this" by fellow students. While making a speech in Raleigh this past summer I looked out into the crowd and could see a couple of girls with huge smiles on their faces. I figured that they were getting a real kick out of me giving this speech about how much I love Appalachian, but afterward I talked to those girls and they said they were so comforted to know that the president of an organization had just as heavy an accent as they did. I think like with anything else some people appreciate it and some people just find it to be one more way that they can degrade someone.

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Mandi McGaha


Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:29 pm
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What's so funny as I read you all talking about accents is that while I acquired an accent living in rural, western NC, my mother tried her best to make me talk "proper". I always thought it was hilarious that she is tolerant of me saying "ya'll" but corrects me as I say "talkin' " rather than talking. She always told me in high school that I would never get a teaching job if I didn't talk "right". Then, as I've gone through many education classes at Appalachian, I have heard many professors say that accents are not something to be concerned about! This has blown my mind as well.
Along with Heather, I have recently become more aware of the accents and different ways of living in my own state. My boyfriend is from the coast and they certainly have an accent all to their own. Aside from the fact that I say pecan like "pe-caun" and they say "pee-can", their ways of living are different as well. Each of our cultural capitals are differing despite the fact that we live in the same state and grew up in the same socio-economic status. Personally, I've found it intriguing and amusing all at once.

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Kristen Bumgarner


Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:02 pm
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This really isn't that relevant, but when I first meet somebody I talk really southern just for the hell of it. Then, inevitably, they ask me what I study, and when I reply that I study Physics they don't believe me. I guess that really is a big bias.

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Zach Yokley


Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:15 am
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I agree with Kristen that accents are very interesting and whether or not we "hide" them or talk "properly" is interesting. I also was raised in a smaller town where southern accents are prevalent. However, my parents never really spoke with one and encouraged me to speak intelligently. As I grew up, I began to lose a bit of my accent, I think due in large part to being an English major. I became very concerned with speaking correctly and not speaking with my accent. However, it is interesting because I find myself slipping back into that accent very heavily. This weekend, for example, I waited tables at my job at home. It was furniture market where I live, and there were a lot of northerners and foreigners that came into the restaurant. I received several comments about how southern my accent was. Yet, when I come back here, I feel a different way.

I stopped to wonder why this is? Why do I feel as though when I come back to school I need to speak like I'm "educated". Then I thought to myself, well I can certainly speak with my accent and still be educated. It was an interesting thought process.

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Anna F. Gay


Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:30 am
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