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Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen argued in a classic study that (US) Southern politeness is a reaction to high levels of aggression:
"(The authors also theorize that Southern politeness could be a response to Southern aggression—if Southerners are more likely to take offense than other regional cultures, it follows they would be less likely to give offense, for safety’s sake.)"
http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magaz ... n-Culture/
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