Friday, November 13, 2015

Sociolinguistics and the Geography of Innovation

The decline of the Southern drawl maps the diffusion of knowledge production in the United States.

Theme: Geography of economic development

Subject Article: "As a Southern community changes, an accent fades: Southern accents are declining in North Carolina. What does that tell us about social dynamics?"

Other Links: 1. "Altered States: A Perspective on 75 Years of State Income Growth."
2. "Debunking Texas Exceptionalism: De-Regulation Will Not Save Us."
3. "Fortresses of Globalization and Wilmington, Delaware."

Postscript: From "Interact with a wider circle and your ideas will take flight":

Decades ago, the University of Chicago sociologist Ron Burt showed that what matters about a social network, whether face-to-face or virtual, is neither its size nor the prominence of its contacts but the extent to which it provides exposure to people and ideas you do not already know.

The diminishing Southern accent is an indicator of a wider circle of ideas, which spurs innovation. Migration, not proximity nor density nor tolerance, foments creativity.

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