Appalachian Problems are National Problems

The Bicentennial is also the approximate centennial of the "discovery" of Southern Appalachia as a unique subcultural region by the writers of the "local-color" movement in the mid-1870's. Within twenty years the missionary movement had transformed the notion of cultural difference into the idea of Southern Appalachia as a social problem. Today we are faced with the task of reassessing the claim that Appalachian problems are exceptional in character. If they are not, solutions to the social and economic difficulties of Appalachia may lie primarily in national, not regional, social policy.