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Comparison of Cultures and Geographies

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1994 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Objective Elements

For this assignment, I chose to use three different geographic as well as three different cultures/ethnicities. El Paso, Texas, Duluth, Minnesota and Atlanta, Georgia are located in extremely different climates that are majority populated by different ethnic groups.  Throughout the regions, the cultures have influenced everyday life within their respective areas. 

El Paso, Texas

El Paso is located in the far western corner of the state of Texas on the Rio Grande across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.  Due to its close vicinity to Mexico, 551,555 (or 80%) of its 683,577 residents are of Hispanic ethnicity.  The transitional climate features hot summers, with little humidity and cool, dry winters.  The city has, on average, 302 days of sun per year. 

Households in El Paso, TX have a median annual income of $43,200, which is less than the median annual income in the United States (El Paso,2019).  The poverty level is 22.1%, which is 14% higher than the national average. 

Employees in El Paso, TX have a shorter commute time (22.6 minutes) than the normal US worker (25.3 minutes). Additionally, 1.94% of the workforce in El Paso, TX have “super commutes” in excess of 90 minutes while the most common method of travel for workers in El Paso, TX was private transportation ,79.8%, 10.3% carpool, 2.4% for transit, 2.5% for walking, and .2% for cycling.  Residents of El Paso have a lower than average percentage of households without a vehicle. 

Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth, Minnesota is located on the north shore of Lake Superior at the westernmost point of the Great Lakes.  It is the second-largest city on Lake Superior.  Of its 86,164 residents, 76, 371 (88.6%) are White.   The humid continental climate offers long, snowy, bitterly cold winters with highs remaining below 32 degrees on 106 days a year and falling to or below 0 degrees on 40–41 nights while bringing consistent snow cover from late November to late March.  Summers in Duluth are generally warm with temperatures averaging 76 degrees in July, due the wind off of Lake Superior, yet it only sees 90 degrees 2 times a year.

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The median household income for the Duluth Minnesota metro area was $54,162 in 2017, the latest figures available. Duluth median household income is $14,226 lower than the median Minnesota household income and $6,174 less than the US median household income. Duluth has an unemployment rate of 4.6%. The US average is 5.2%. Duluth has seen the job market decrease by -0.7% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 34.0%, which is lower than the US average of 38.0%.

 In 2016, the most common method of travel for workers in Duluth, MN was private transportation (74.1%). 10.4% carpooled, 4.4% used public transit, 3.6% work at home, 0.6% have other means, 0.6% cycle and 0.4% either use motorcycle or taxi.  The local bus system is run by the Duluth Transit Authority which uses hybrids.

Atlanta, Georgia

 Atlanta is the capital of the state of Georgia with an estimated population of 472,506, approximately 50% of that population being African-American. In 2016, there were 1.33 times more Black residents (237,590 people) in Atlanta, GA than any other race or ethnicity. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area which consists of DeKalb County, GA and Fulton County, GA.  Atlanta has a humid subtropical climate with short winters and hot and humid summers.  The average winter temperature is 43 degrees Fahrenheit with low or expected freezing temperatures 40 nights a year.  The summer temperatures average between 80 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit about 44 days a year. 

 Households in Atlanta, GA have a median annual income of $53,843, which is $3,774 less than the median annual income in the United States of $57, 617.  The most common racial or ethnic group living below the poverty line in Atlanta, GA is Black or African American (80.5%), followed by White and American Indian.  The median property value in Atlanta, GA is $262,600, which is 1.28 times larger than the national average of $205,000. Between 2015 and 2016 the median property value increased from $241,200 to $262,600, an 8.87% increase. The homeownership rate of Atlanta, GA is 41.3%, which is lower than the national average of 63.1% (Data USA, 2019). 

 In 2016, the most common mode of transportation in Atlanta was private transportation.  42.6% of households have 2 cars. In 2016, the most common method of travel for workers in Atlanta, GA was Drove Alone (67.4%), followed by those who utilize Public Transit (10.4%) and those who Work at Home (7.2%). 4.4% of residents walk, 1.4% cycle and 0.7% use a taxi. 


 Environments have an effect on the cultures that reside there.  The cultures mentioned within this paper have major contrasts in their environments, and it mirrors the predominant culture residing within the region.  In El Paso and Atlanta, the climate is usually warm for the majority of the year, so cultural events are scheduled regularly and frequently I the warmed moths to involve the predominant cultures of the cities.  While Duluth does have many cultural events scheduled, weather limitations don’t allow for as many outdoor activities that typically promote higher attendance.  

 Income within the chosen cultures also has an effect on how these communities’ function within their environments.  The high minority communities of El Paso and Atlanta have lower median incomes than the predominately white Duluth, which may have an effect on things such as quality of living as well as home ownership. Statistically speaking, it costs more to heat a home, than to cool it off. Obviously, a typical family in Duluth, Minnesota is likely to spend more than 3 times as much on heating a home than their neighbors to the south would spend on cooling a home.  With the vast disparity in median income, the residents of warmer climates may fare better due to the lack of resources.  Whether its job opportunities offered in these communities due to the racial components, its residents have been able to persevere.

Objective Elements


El Paso, Texas


Total: 551,555 (80.7%) *

Duluth, Minnesota


Total: 76,371 (88.6%)*

Atlanta, Georgia


Total: 472,506 (50.3%) *

•Cultural or community events

  • Viva! El Paso
  • Dia De Los Muertos
  • First Thanksgiving Celebration
  • Hispanic Heritage Celebration
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • University of Minnesota Duluth hockey games are televised locally.
  • Lake Superior offers “winter surfing” every season.
  • Christmas City of the North Parade
  • “Black and Proud” poetry social
  • Black History Celebration 2019
  • Black Women Film Summit 2019
  • CultureFest 2019

•Physical artistic creations

  • El Paso Mission Trail
  • The National Border Patrol Museum
  • UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
  • San Elizario Historic District
  • Central High School
  • Great Lakes Aquarium
  • Leif Erikson Park
  • Duluth Rose Garden
  • First “mall” in America
  • Museum of Design Atlanta
  • Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and visitor center


  • 79.8% use private transportation
  • 10.3% carpool
  • 2.4% use public transit
  • 2.5% walk
  • 0.2% cycle
  • 74.1% use private transportation
  • 10.4% carpool
  • 3.6% work at home
  • 4.4% use public transit
  • 0.6% have other means
  • 0.4% either use motorcycle or taxi
  • 67.4% use public transportation
  • 10.4% public transit
  • 7.2% work at home
  • 4.4% walk
  • 1.4% cycle
  • 0.7% use a taxi



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