APPALACHIAN STEREOTYPES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY



What do you think of when it comes to Appalachia? The mountains, the wilderness, the beauty, the passed down traditions, or the good people living in it? Probably not. The region of Appalachia is clumped together by basically anyone who lives outside of the region. Even though the picture above is fairly old, I believe people outside of Appalachia still see us as this isolated, uneducated, ignorant, lawlessness, timeless, drug addicted region of people — the list could just go on. The two links I attached are quite different from each other, but they go hand and hand.

In this video Silas House talks about the stereotypes of Appalachia and much more. He discusses how Appalachia is the mirror of America, the good and the ugly. “We have an imaginary magnifying glass over our region.”and other states want to reflect their issues onto one place; Appalachia. These stereotypes are in every state of this country, not just Appalachia — we are just the scapegoat. He also talks about the problems of inequality and identity such as the LGBTQ population in this region. Other regions have this issue too, but it is usually done in an individualist matter. In Appalachia, it is more of a group effort as there are whole communities that are willing to fight against it. Another theory of Silas House is as to why Appalachian is no more or this kind of behavior or stereotyping — group effort and collective narrow mindedness.

This website, by Sarah Baird, is all about the ever-growing diversity in the Appalachian Mountains. It takes a historical route and discusses the history of ethnicities that have been in this region for along time such as Native Americans, Paleo Indians, African Americans, Latinos, and Europeans. There are many things to be valued in the Appalachian region and the traditions go as far as the eye can see. Even though this article talked about the diversity in this mountainous region, there were still stereotypes being conveyed in their message. They discuss “people of local color,” which is a form of stereotyping, by directing certain kinds of attributes to specific group of people. They also called the images that were taken “Poverty Porn.” With all of the diversity in this region, you would think stereotypes would be gone, but the fight against stereotyping Appalachian’s continues.What do you think of when it comes to Appalachia? The mountains, the wilderness, the beauty, the passed down traditions, or the good people living in it? Probably not. The region of Appalachia is clumped together by basically anyone who lives outside of the region. Even though the picture above is fairly old, I believe people outside of Appalachia still see us as this isolated, uneducated, ignorant, lawlessness, timeless, drug addicted region of people — the list could just go on. The two links I attached are quite different from each other, but they go hand and hand.



“My name is Caroline Walsh and I am in the Creative Department at Appalachian Insights. My history in Appalachia goes far back, and I am a proud West Virginian! Follow me through our journey — @hslawenilorac”