Blog Post 3: Contributing to critical public discourse: the analytic post.
Here’s the link I’ll be criticizing.
The first thing that sticks out to me here is the fact that she uses a micro approach to explaining a macro topic. You can’t use singular examples and apply it to all new transplants (what the author refers to people who have recently moved to Minnesota). Just because one person is having a hard time fitting into Minnesota, doesn’t mean every transplant is having a hard time. Where is the success story for transplants? If there isn’t one, then tell me the facts.
The author begins by defining what Minnesota Nice is and then transitions into the dark side of Minnesota Nice. I can see how the appeal of individual stories may inspire people who read the article, but this is a much bigger problem than helping the “new kid on the block” fit in. Let’s be honest for a second, Minnesota has one of the highest immigrant rates in America. Are immigrants not considered transplants? Far more people stay in Minnesota than leave. This is a macro topic, not a micro problem. You can’t look at individual experiences and draw a conclusion. Minnesota Nice doesn’t apply to every Minnesota-born person. I’ve met some pretty big assholes in my day and I’m sure I will meet many more.
Now I understand the authors point about Minnesotans needing to reach out to new transplants, but it is also a two-way street. The whole Minnesota Nice concept is about after people are in your life. It doesn’t directly apply to initiating a new relationship. I would say the problem is the barrier people put up to defend themselves. You’re not going to tell a complete stranger your life story. At the same time, these barriers are natural and not unique to Minnesota. When she lists tips on how to “survive” in Minnesota, all I can think about is how these tips can be applied to anyone, anywhere in the world.
I believe once you are in my life, I am more likely to ‘look out’ for your well-being. Both parties need to make an attempt to initiate a relationship. People are always in different points in their life – meaning they might not be willing to find a new friend at this point in time. You need to give people time and the cards will fall in place. Going to public events are a good way to meet people who are willing to meet you. I know many neighborhoods hold block parties where you can go and meet your neighbors. In the end, it’s a macro problem that will take a lot of time to get a solution because if you don’t know how to connect with people, you won’t fit in anywhere.