In Muncie in the classic sociological study Middletown, published in by Robert S. and Helen M. Lynd. The name (shortened in from Munseetown or . – Robert and Helen Lynd arrive in Muncie, Indiana to study religion in American of questions which were then asked of samples of people in Middletown. Middletown has 84 ratings and 4 reviews. by. Robert Staughton Lynd, Middletown is the report of a year and a half study the Lynds and their assistants .

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Paula rated it really liked it Jul 22, Although new technology has created more leisure time for all people, most of this new time is passed in “passive” or nonconstructive recreation.

A Study in Contemporary American Culture was published in and achieved enormous success. No trivia or quizzes yet. That’s probably what folks were looking to read about when they picked up oynd newly published book in They are the ground zero of American life. Robert Lynd retired from Columbia University in A Study in Cultural Conflicts Pollsters do as well – the city has, for the most part, successfully predicted the election of U.

After she completed high school her family moved to Framingham, Massachusettswhere Helen enrolled in Wellesley College. The book went through six printings in only its first year. midddletown

Many working-class families formerly never strayed more than a few miles from town; with the automobile, they are able to take vacations across the United States.

She died in Warren, Ohioon January 30, This took place just one year after Middletown was published. Anna rated it liked it May 19, He received his Ph. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.


The first of two classic studies that examined the daily life of a typical small american city–in actuality, Muncie, Indiana–in the mids, using the approach of social anthropology. While the researchers found that there were some social changes, residents tended to go back to the way they were once economic hardship had ended. After tense discussions between local leaders, PBS and the film-makers, the episode was withdrawn and the series sponsor, Xerox, withdrew its sponsorship — but not its funding — from that particular program, which has since been released on DVD.

Also, the second study is not as neutral as the first.

Lists with This Book. And so it is that Middletownand therefore Muncie, became a proxy for the quintessential America.

Robert and Helen Lynd. Well, the city’s white residents, anyway.

The view from Middletown: a typical US city that never did exist | Membership | The Guardian

In the s the Lynds found a “division into the working class and business class that constitutes the outstanding cleavage in Middletown. Almost a third of all children at the time of the study planned to attend college. If you value and enjoy this approach to covering politics, please help to fund our journalism through either a one-off or a regular contribution.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. Helen Lynd retired from Sarah Lawrence College inbut continued to teach there until her death. During the McCarthy era trials, Helen Lynd was questioned before a Senate investigating committee for her connections with the Communist Party. They had two children; their son Staughton was born inand their daughter, Andrea, in While their follow-up study which revealed little change despite experiencing of the Great Depression has been criticized, the town they called “Middletown” continued to be used by those seeking to understand the life of typical American communities.


Middletown contained 42 churchesrepresenting 28 different denominations. Credits New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards.

Robert and Helen Lynd

In Robert Lynd, under pressure from his publishers, came back to do a follow-up, Middletown in Transitionwhich examined the effects of the Great Depression on Muncie. They were moddletown critical of America’s growing preoccupation with money and consumption.

And like a fairground mirror, Middletown gave America an image of itself that was both familiar and woefully distorted — an image that the American commentariat preferred to reality. Businessmen, in particular, are required to be highly conformist in their political and social views.

Muncie did not actually fit the bill for the final point. While the researchers found that there were some social changes, residents tended to go back to the way they were once economic hardship had ended. When the acclaimed photographer Margaret Bourke-White took a series of photographs for Life magazine that showed the deep economic middletwon following the Depression, the town was in uproar.

Rick Rempala rated it really liked it Sep 12, Sometimes I would chuckle at accounts, sometimes my teeth would be set on edge, like when the authors would casually mention labor conditions or the KKK as part of the community.