Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I don't use my first name, but Middletown is actually my home town, Muncie, Indiana, United States.

During the 1920s my hometown was part of the classic sociological work, the Middletown Studies.

Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture was primarily a look at changes in a small Midwest city between 1890 and 1925, the year the study was completed.

Although the book does not name the city (population: 38,000) in question, it was later revealed to be Muncie, Indiana.

The Lynds and their assistants used the "approach of the cultural anthropologist" (see field research and social anthropology), existing documents, statistics, interviews, and surveys to accomplish this task. The stated goal of the study was describe this small urban center as a unit which consists of "interwoven trends of behavior" (p. 3). Or put in more detail,

    "to present a dynamic, functional study of the contemporary life of this specific American community in the light of trends of changing behaviour observable in it during the last thirty-five years" (p. 6).

The book is written in an entirely descriptive tone, treating the citizens of Middletown in much the same way as an anthropologist from an industrialized nation might describe a non-industrial culture.

Muncie continues to be one of the places that pollsters and reporters go when they want to do an "average American city" story.  As far as how my online self and offline self caompare, my offline self is far less vocal.  It's sort of like my inner Hulk comes out.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:43:41 PM EST
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