If you're looking for a place to raise a middle-income, conservative, college-football loving family, then Knoxville is your place! I have lived in this city for ten years and, unfortunately, must report that not a lot has changed during that time. For years the city has been run by the same few political families and from the looks of things, this trend is not about to be broken anytime soon. Politically, the area is very conservative; democrats do not stand a chance here.
Church plays a major role in the lives of most Knoxville residents. Whether you're only a Christian on Sundays or live by "the good book," you can expect many aspects of life to be dominated by the church. There are some high-points to having the majority of the population beating bibles, though. If you don't like the church you're attending, you can just walk across the street to the one there. Also, if you're of the "Wal-Mart Generation," there are numerous megachurches in the area where you can get your religion and your milk, too!
On the positive side, Knoxville is a beautiful area. Due to Mayor Haslam's bid to fill Governor Bredesen's shoes in Nashville, there has been a great deal of renovation in the downtown area. As election day draws nearer, you can expect to see more renovations! The city sits in at the foothills of the Smokey Mountains and is only an hour's drive to the National Park. The city is also convenienty located in the middle of several major cities. Nashville, Louisville, Charlotte, and Atlanta are within a few hours of Knoxville.
Culture here is... well, is developing. The music scene is very mature, and I don't mean "old-timey." Due to the University of Tennessee's music school and Maryville College's World Class faculty, the music scene in Knoxville is the only thing with a pulse.
Whether you're looking to slow down, or come to a complete stop... Knoxville will accomodate both. The city is like a step back in time with many folks still using derogatory names to describe the president and getting all their news from Rush Limbaugh. A good adjective for this city is "stagnant."