Important continuities in Middletown were found the importance of family and religion in people’s lives. But important changes were also found, especially in family structure.
In 1999, only half of Middletown’s high school students lived with both natural parents.
But if they live with their children, Middletown parents spend more time with their children than ever before.
Religion showed change. In 1924, parents wanted their children to be good church-goers and be obedient. In 1999, parents want their children to be tolerant and independent. But there is also continuity: church attendance is slightly higher than in 1924. And about the same proportion of Middletowners said that God is what gets them through their lives.
Why was America so successful in the 20th century?