Saturday, 8 October 2011

The United States of Florida

I chose this image, originally posted in The New York Times, because I think it reflects how real the division between the states are. It shows the parts of Florida that people from certain areas tend to migrate to in the winter. There are many explanations offered up for this blatant division. One, is the idea that before common air travel some of these places were easier to get to from certain states. Although air travel has insured flights to almost anywhere in Florida, these ideas may be too deep to be uprooted and hence the same families travel to the same places. Another explanation could be that neighbours talk to one another about where best to go on vacation and so they all end up in a similar location. This is an interesting theory as, if it is true, it shows how much others influence our decisions. Personally I think the most justifiable and painfully truthful explanation for the evidence in the map is that people like to be around the familiar. They like to socialise with those who share similar values to their own. I think also, that people get homesick and small cultural reminders comfort them. The article does, however, widely talk about the large numbers of exceptions to the rule. Those who choose a location based on criteria other than the above. This does, in some ways, invalidate both the map and the arguments I have stated and show them to be more than a little bit generalised. Having said this, I still think it shows a certain 'each to their own' attitude that some Americans (and many people across the world) still possess, even if it is not shared by everyone.

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