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Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts (Harvest/HBJ Book) 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0156595513
ISBN-10: 0156595516
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sociologist and educator Helen Merrell Lynd (1896-1982) was a coauthor of the classic sociological study "Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture". With her husband, Robert S. Lynd, she studied the beliefs and practices of the residents of a small industrial town to provide a unique portrait of American life in the 1920s. They returned to the town during the Great Depression of the 1930s to observe changes in the community, a study which was published as "Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts".

Helen Merrell Lynd, with her husband, Robert S. Lynd, coauthored the classic sociological work Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture. A study of the lives of the citizens of an average American town in the 1920s, the book became a best-seller and a standard text for sociology students. The Lynds followed up on Middletown residents in the 1930s, producing the volume Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts. In addition to these collaborative works with her husband, Lynd also had a successful independent career in academia. A longtime member of the staff of Sarah Lawrence College, she wrote a number of books on education, history, philosophy, and sociology.



Sociologist and educator Helen Merrell Lynd (1896-1982) was a coauthor of the classic sociological study "Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture". With her husband, Robert S. Lynd, she studied the beliefs and practices of the residents of a small industrial town to provide a unique portrait of American life in the 1920s. They returned to the town during the Great Depression of the 1930s to observe changes in the community, a study which was published as "Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts".

Helen Merrell Lynd, with her husband, Robert S. Lynd, coauthored the classic sociological work Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture. A study of the lives of the citizens of an average American town in the 1920s, the book became a best-seller and a standard text for sociology students. The Lynds followed up on Middletown residents in the 1930s, producing the volume Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts. In addition to these collaborative works with her husband, Lynd also had a successful independent career in academia. A longtime member of the staff of Sarah Lawrence College, she wrote a number of books on education, history, philosophy, and sociology.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest/HBJ Book
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (March 5, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156595516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156595513
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd conducted this remarkable study of a middle-American town (Muncie, Indiana) and its culture in the 1920's. The Lynds were the first to apply techniques of cultural anthropology, as they observed and interviewed ordinary citizens. The Lynds found most persons living in two-parent families (most women were housewives), clear divisions between professionals and the working class, and strong tendencies to conform. The Lynds noted increasing sketicism towards organized religion, politicians, and voting, with the city's business leaders almost exclusively Republican. The Lynds also found parents complaining about their kids avoiding them, staying out too late at parties, and having too much freedom. In turn, the kids felt their parents were uncommunicative, overly strict, and too old-fashioned. Sound familiar? Technology may change - at the time radio's, telephones and refrigerators were new devices in many homes - but human nature pretty much stays the same.

Robert Lynd (1892-1970) and his wife Helen (1896-1982) were highly capable professional sociologists blessed with the uncommon ability (among academics) of writing easy-reading prose. We read this book in college and most of us found it nicely readable and very insightful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Lynds, following up on their earlier "Middletown: A Study in American Culture," provide a glimpse of social life in a small Midwestern city toward the close of the Depression. It is well worth the read if you are interested in how a town adapted to the massive changes across the country during the 1930s.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a gift!
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