Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Civic Pride Product"

Last night at dinner someone described beer to me as a "civic pride product". By this he meant that people in different cities, parts of the country (and perhaps world) embrace, identify with, and defend this type of product as a part of their cultural identity. What else could be framed from this perspective? Newspapers? Baseball teams?


Ollie said...

Gay weddings and universities.

Ollie said...

Actually lots of foodstuffs come to mind. Here in the UK we have Cheddar cheese, Devon scones, Yorkshire tea, Aberdeen angus beef, Scottish salmon and Brighton / Blackpool / generic seaside resort rock. In Australia I found a lot of places selling English muffins; we'd never call them English here though.

Over in the states, "y'all" have kentucky fried chicken and the whole southern ribs / barbecue thing. Further north I guess there are about a hundred delis selling "the best bagels in New York". Oh, and Philadelphia cream cheese. Plus all the international things like Champagne and Gorgonzola.

The amount of pride varies between items but there seems to be a trend here, which overlaps with civic pride but perhaps isn't exactly the same as what you're talking about?

Thomas Sherman said...

It took me a while to get what you meant by gay weddings and universities, but when I did (several minutes later) I had a good laugh.

I thought of Britain when I wrote this, there are many regional examples there. Equivalents in the US would be Philly Cheese-Steak Sandwich, New England Clam Chowder, A NY Slice, Idaho Potatoes.

Some civic pride products are more charged that others. Beer in some instances is one that comes closest to being like Baseball of Football (as in Soccer). People will defend their own and attach rivals vocally and vehemently.