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  Timeline:
 
PEOPLE

  James A. Garfield
  Franz Boas
  Jane Adams
  Frederick Jackson Turner
  H. H. Goddard
  Charles Davenport
  Julia Lathrop
  Robert and Helen Lynd
  President Hoover
  President Roosevelt
  George Gallup
  Alfred Kinsey
  Betty Friedan
  Daniel Patrick Moynihan
  James Coleman
  Middletown III Team
  Alfred Kahn
  Paul Volcker
  James Q. Wilson
  Middletown IV Team
  Ben Wattenberg

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Robert and Helen LyndspacerRobert and Helen Lynd

1924 - Robert and Helen Lynd arrive in Muncie, Indiana to study religion in American life. They decided to study the entire social life of the community so that they could understand the role of the religion. They divided social life into six parts: Getting a Living; Making a Home; Training the Young; Using Leisure; Engaging in Religious Practices; and Engaging in Community Activities. They measured the impact of the Industrial Revolution on America by comparing Muncie in 1890 to Muncie in 1924. 

The Lynds pioneered the use of social surveys. They created schedules of questions which were then asked of samples of people in Middletown. The Lyndsí questions were so well-written that they were used again almost word-for-word in 1977 and 1999. 

Some of the Lyndsí important findings: 
-Americans have a unique level of pride in their country. 
-Many goods could be found in homes in 1924, but not in 1890 such as: furnaces, running hot and cold water, flush toilets, toasters, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, telephones, refrigerators and fresh fruit year-round.
-Motion pictures became a common form of entertainment. 
-The automobile ushered in a new era of sexual relations. 
-Sunday was changing from the Sabbath to the Sunday holiday. 

The Lynds discovered the scandal of class. The business class worked with people and ideas and the working class worked with things. These two classes were as different as two different tribes: different lives, different hopes, and different tastes. But modernization is eroding these class distinctions as soon as it creates them. Mass production gives the poor more and more of the capacities that only the rich had previous had.

1935 - Robert Lynd returned to Muncie to study the effects of the Depression on Middletown. He found a city that was basically optimistic about the future and not at all revolutionary. These findings were published in 1937 in Middletown in Transition (also known as Middletown II).

Related Links:

Program Segment 4

Interviews:
Lynd
Caplow
Geelhoed

Middletown I
Middletown II

 

 

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     Photo Credits:
   Robert and Helen Lynd. Courtesy of Staughton Lynd.
 
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