Cowbirds, locals, and the dynamic endurance of regionalism

Wendy Griswold*, Nathan Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Regional cultures, far from atrophying in the face of national and global cultural circuits, are both enduring and reproducing themselves. This is not just due to locals holding fast to their traditions but to cosmopolitans becoming knowledgeable about the culture of place as part of their ongoing identity construction. Results from Survey 2000, an online survey conducted by the National Geographic Society, show the processes that are maintaining and even increasing the cultural distinctiveness of American regions as indicated by residents ' knowledge of local literature. One such process involves what we call cultural "cowbirds," people new to a region who catch up with the natives' local cultural knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1411-1451+i
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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