Culture and Poverty in Appalachia: A Theoretical Discussion and Empirical Analysis
Billings, D. (1974). Culture and Poverty in Appalachia: A Theoretical Discussion and Empirical Analysis: Special Issue. Social Forces, 53(2), 315-323.
The prevalent explanation for the persistence of poverty in Appalachia stresses the region's traditional culture which ill equips its population for participation in the modern world. This research casts doubt on the cultural explanation. A scale of 'middle-class orientation' was produced from the secondary analysis of data gathered from several thousand respondents in North Carolina. Attitudinal differences between respondents from the Appalachian subregion of that state and from other regions including the urban, industrial piedmont were quite small and attributable to rurality. Analysis controlling for age suggests that attitudinal factors cannot be used to account for economic development as it occurred in the Appalachian region. An alternative approach for further research is discussed