Why Muncie Is the Middle Town That the Lynds Uncovered Scholars

Lynds realized that Muncie gave a conducive and  the perfect place for story making as it had "a one foot planted in the industrial age, in addition to a stepping gingerly, onto the 21st century:" while the north side of town, which got anchored by the Ball State University, and was worldwide and technologically connected. “While the south side of town, Detroit: Like other hometown, its south was an assortment of abandoned decaying neighborhoods and auto factories” (James 2007). It is against these backdrops that Lynds found it rather conducive to do their scholarly work in Muncie.

It illustrated many parallels between those of the Gilded Age and  times, when sociologists Helen Lynd and Robert conducted a study on the hard first years of the industrial era. They realized that most Americans between the year 1890 and 1925 were continuously struggling with transition from the farm economy to the industrial era. Lynds lamented the idea that the "cunning hand of master craftsman" was getting supplanted by means of "batteries of the tireless iron men." in conjunction to the aforementioned the  couple realized that most  Americans residing in Muncie were hard workers valuing civic pride, self-reliance, faith, and patriotism. These encouraged the couple who realized that they would as well do scholarly work on these cultures of hardworking

One key fact that motivated Lynds was that they realized that there exists a “division between the working class and the business class which constituted of an outstanding cleavage in the Middletown" (Larry 2011). Although critics considered a racial oversight, Lynds did not study black population of Muncie as it accounted for only 5 percent of the entire city's population. They claimed that there exist inadequate blacks in "Middletown" able to justify the study; this fact gave them more encouragements as they were now more familiar with the inhabitants, and the local able to understand their language. The fast growing population 37,000, of Muncie with the least proportion of the immigrants of any of mid-western cities that gave them Muncie as apriority. True, Muncie had a somewhat higher proportion of the blacks than was normal in Midwest; nonetheless the Lynds dealt with this problem by completely excluding blacks from their observations, write­-ups interviews, and analyses.

Middletown, though, vastly comprehensive in scope. The Lynds used as a lead the cultural anthropologists who had made an attempt encompass the entire primitive society under  different six rubrics of making a home, getting a living, using leisure, training the young, engaging in community activities, and engaging in religious practices (Richard 2012). Therefore, Lynds analogized the superficiality of its art clubs with the parallel behavior amongst Todas. This produced both a detached scientific tone to their book and also allowed cosmopolitan readers to isolate themselves from parochialism of purposes of study. This town thus separated itself from hundreds of other social surveys of the American communities which previously had been published.

Finally, Methodological innovations in Middletown could not be overstated. “A lot of materials came from standardized questionnaires and documentary analysis of a sort, which had previously highly developed,” (Ron 2012). This agency encouraged Lynds study as it sponsored Lynd’s study, New York's Institute of Religious Research and Social, a sprout of the Interchurch World Movement and, prior to that, Presbyterian Board of the Home Missions, simultaneously sponsored several technically and sophisticated, quantitative studies of the changing place of religion in  an American society. This sponsorship, in conjunction with other factors, encouraged Lynd’s to carry out their scholarly work.

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