Small-Town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future

Small-Town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future

by Robert Wuthnow
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

More than thirty million Americans live in small, out-of-the-way places. Many of them could have joined the vast majority of Americans who live in cities and suburbs. They could live closer to more lucrative careers and convenient shopping, a wider range of educational opportunities, and more robust health care. But they have opted to live differently.

…  See more details below

Overview

More than thirty million Americans live in small, out-of-the-way places. Many of them could have joined the vast majority of Americans who live in cities and suburbs. They could live closer to more lucrative careers and convenient shopping, a wider range of educational opportunities, and more robust health care. But they have opted to live differently.

In Small-Town America, we meet factory workers, shop owners, retirees, teachers, clergy, and mayors--residents who show neighborliness in small ways, but who also worry about everything from school closings and their children's futures to the ups and downs of the local economy. Drawing on more than seven hundred in-depth interviews in hundreds of towns across America and three decades of census data, Robert Wuthnow shows the fragility of community in small towns. He covers a host of topics, including the symbols and rituals of small-town life, the roles of formal and informal leaders, the social role of religious congregations, the perception of moral and economic decline, and the myriad ways residents in small towns make sense of their own lives. Wuthnow also tackles difficult issues such as class and race, abortion, homosexuality, and substance abuse.

Small-Town America paints a rich panorama of individuals who reside in small communities, finding that, for many people, living in a small town is an important part of self-identity.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

"Small-Town America is full of surprising findings. . . . [A]cutely aware of the fragility of small towns, Wuthnow believes they have a viable future."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"This comprehensive investigation of social life in small, rural U.S. communities by distinguished scholar Wuthnow is a remarkable contribution to the rural sociological literature. The author combines data from the U.S. census, national surveys, and his own quantitative and qualitative research to illuminate how rural residents view the changes in small town life over the past few decades. . . . An important, thought-provoking picture of small town life."--Choice

"[A] rich tapestry depicting the pleasures and difficulties of life in small-town America, the histories and the promises of these places, and the hopes and fears of the people who choose to live there."--Elizabeth Dilley, Christian Century

"I learned a great deal about small-town America from this book. In a sense, there is no other sociological study of small-town America to equal it. It fills a significant gap in the sociological literature."--John A. Coleman, America

"Small-Town America fills a significant gap in the sociological literature. . . . [Wuthnow] offers a more balanced view of small-town life and culture. Drawing on more than seven hundred in-depth interviews in hundreds of towns across America and three decades of census data, Robert Wuthnow shows the fragility of community in small towns."--Batya Roded, Geography Research Forum

"In Small-Town America there is a wealth of information for the field researcher, the demographer, the survey designer, and the community theorist. We are confident that Wuthnow's work will lead to more insightful explorations in community theory and how rural America continues to play a significant role in American society."--Matthew L. McKnight and Ralph B. Brown, American Journal of Sociology

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400846498
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
520
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Robert Wuthnow is the Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University. His books include Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America's Heartland and Remaking the Heartland: Middle America since the 1950s (all Princeton).

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >