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Muncie, India(na)Middletown and Asian America$
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Himanee Gupta-Carlson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041822

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041822.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Creating a Typical America

Creating a Typical America

The Middletown Studies and Muncie

(p.25) Chapter 1 Creating a Typical America
Muncie, India(na)

Himanee Gupta-Carlson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes how sociologists Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd conducted research in Muncie, Indiana, in the 1920s and how popular reception to their book Middletown: A Study in American Culture created Muncie’s reputation as typical America. It analyzes how exclusion of African Americans and foreign-born individuals from the Middletown study resulted in a distorted understanding of the typical American that continues to haunt the American mindset into the twenty-first century. It explores how scholars and other researchers have addressed the distortion and situates the author’s study within this context.

Keywords:   Muncie, Indiana, Middletown studies, African Americans, racial violence, anti-immigrant hostility, typical America

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