Determining whether “Boston Strong” has run its course requires more than a few interviews

The “Boston Strong” motto has been ever-present again this week – and one journalist suggests some Boston residents want to move on.

Inventory manager Make Nash, a resident of Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, is among those who have heard enough of the rallying cry.“Forget ‘Boston Strong.’ Be strong!” he says…

Freelance journalist R. Brock Olson disputed the idea that a hashtag slogan can hold the capacity to heal in a post titled “We are not #BostonStrong” on his “View From Boston” blog this week, which was republished on Salon on Friday.

“The #BostonStrong meme betrays our insecurities. If we were strong, we would not need to remind ourselves,” he wrote.

Two instances of people who want to move on from the slogan. At the least, the article might suggest there is disagreement about how long the term should be used. Yet, the article provides little evidence either way that these are sentiments held by a lot of residents or just a few.

This is a good example of the difference in approach by journalists and sociologists. While there may be some signs of discussion in Boston – and it is hard to know this without being there – sociologists would tend to want more evidence. How about a survey in the metropolitan region about the term “Boston Strong”? Couldn’t such a question be included in a survey about how residents feel about the bombings, whether they feel safer today, and whether there is still a sense of solidarity in the region? Or, if a survey with a representative sample of the region isn’t preferred, how about more interviews rather than a few for or against the motto?

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