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Can Shorewood define its culture?

Local culture


 

The term culture as I use it here refers to the way people live. This may seem a simple notion but there is a whole field of anthropology that deals with this subject.


 

Human cultures determine who people are, set limits as to what people can do and contribute to the forming of the general attitudes of members of those communities.


 

Except for the vision of the Garden of Eden, there is little indication that human beings have not always lived in groups, in clans and tribes and at least in small undefinable groups and communities.


 

At times I have tried to examine the culture of our community here in Shorewood, whether it's to try to understand its social structure, its economy or what elements we hold in common that define us. I have not been able to take significant hold of any meaningful indicators.


 

Although we exist as a smaller element of the metropolitan area, we seem not to come out of the Milwaukee tradition. Many living have come from other parts of the country and of the world and we don't form the traditional cultures that seem evident in small towns in other parts of the State.


 

An important factor seems to be the homes in which we live. I have observed that some homes change occupants quite often. We have a high rate of turnover.


 

Some of these changes are due to acquisition of jobs away from Shorewood, some after children leave the school system, some when retiring to other places and others leave after having lost spouses by divorce or death.


 

There seems a certain lack of long term residency, a certain turnover of residents and the rate could probably be determined. The steady element seems to be the dwellings themselves, even though most of them are modified somewhat when taken over by new occupants, few have been removed to be replaced by new dwellings.


 

The school system seems to be quite significant to younger families with children or planning to have children. But what brings us all together within the limits of Shorewood are our acquired homes and other types of living accommodations.


 

So most residents choose to be here. Few are born here and decide to remain most of their lives. We've generally come here for one of two reasons and in many cases both, because we like the residential atmosphere and a particular house and because we want our children to enter the school system here.


 

More community aspects arise from children relationships within school and with neighboring children and their parents than from any other functions. Therefore the rooted type cultures found in some metropolitan neighborhoods and in some small towns will be lacking here.


 

There will be a thin layer but not enough to give significant definition to culture. Therefore community spirit is difficult to come by except primarily through children's activities. Some of that spirit might be found in the elderly who remain in Shorewood as well.


 

Although the elderly in our overall culture are generally visual background noise to be noticed occasionally but not too often for those living in a youth culture as they do not need reminders that they shall also turn into dust at such a time distant from now that even the speed of our vehicles and of the Internet covers up thought of our temporary stay on what is referred to as our world.


 

Therefore, if we can find a culture here or describe one, it would be based primarily on a regular changing and relocating population, nothing permanent.


 

It is possible however to build a structure for culture on some of the long lived features and managed by those who stay here, perhaps some of the elderly who may give it somewhat more permanency if we were sufficiently innovative and motivated.


 

Shouldn't we find ways or at least try?

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