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Sarah VanSlette (Speech Communication)

2012-2013

“The problem of regional exclusivity: Studying St. Louis’ “Where did you go to high school?” culture and its implication s for non-natives, with a focus on economic and reputational effects”

Sarah VanSlette

Description:

“The problem of regional exclusivity: Studying St. Louis’ “Where did you go to high school?” culture and its implications for non-natives, with a focus on economic and reputational effects”

The inspiration for this research line started with a string of recent discussions with transplants who have been told by natives: "we don't need new friends- we've got all the friends we need" and this exclusion makes it very difficult to meet people and make a comfortable life in St. Louis. The negative reputation of St. Louis among non-natives is one that I find hard to swallow, and the economic implications are depressing, as well. If our lack of hospitality makes talented people want to leave St. Louis, corporations should care a lot about this problem, as should the local and state (IL and MO) governments.

Research Questions and Hypotheses’:
RQ 1: How do their opinions of St. Louis influence transplants’ decisions to leave the St. Louis Metro area?

H1: Their opinions of St. Louis and the "where did you go to high school" culture are related to their desire to stay or leave St. Louis.
RQ 2: How satisfied are transplant s with the level of inclusion they feel as new residents of the St. Louis Metro area?
H2: Many transplants are unsatisfied with the level of inclusion they feel as new residents of the St. Louis Metro area.
RQ 3: What factors affect transplants’ feeling of inclusion or isolation?
RQ 4: What can be done to positively influence the transplants’ feelings of inclusion?

RESEARCH PRODUCT:

Dr. VanSlette has submitted an essay with the above title to be published in the forthcoming journal:

Email: svansle@siue.edu

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