restricted access Revisiting "the South" and "Dixie": Delineating Vernacular Regions using GIS

John Shelton Reed's maps of the South and Dixie in 1970s and 1980s indicated the shrinking boundaries of these two vernacular regions. This study revisits the South and Dixie. Using electronic telephone directories, this study collected all business names with "Southern" and "Dixie" in all the cities in the US. A univariate local indicator of spatial association (LISA) analysis was used to identify the clusters of high and low values of normalized values of the terms. These analyses helped identify the current core regions of Dixie land and the South. The results indicate that "the South" and "Dixie" boundary erosion is noticeable. The study identified a previously unnoticed island of "Dixie" in Utah. Southern and Dixie identities are stronger in non-metropolitan counties compared to metropolitan and micropolitan counties. Southern and Dixie identities are eroding gradually: while the erosion of southern identity is very slow, the erosion of Dixie identity seems to be faster. Overall, it may be more appropriate to refer "Dixieland" as "Dixie islands" today, but the South is still the South.