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Faculty Mentors

Beth Rushing

Abstract

As mass communications close the distances over which people routinely interact, there is a question about the increase in social homogenization at the expense of regional identity. In a society covering as much geographic area and encompassing as many cultures as the United States, the question is certainly valid. Traditionally, this diversity has been recognized as a "melting pot," an analogy attempting to institutionalize a sort of homogeneous diversity; the "melting pot" analogy is now giving way to notions of multiculturalism. However, one may wonder if this social diversity can avoid being buried beneath the homogenizing mass media culture. Whether homogenization is good or bad, the subject is worth investigating, if only to learn if such a trend exists in an empirically observable form that can be placed in an objective context accessible to those concerned with regional trends and their implications.

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