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Small-Town AmericaFinding Community, Shaping the Future$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157207

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157207.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

Going to Be Buried Right Here

Going to Be Buried Right Here

How Residents View Their Towns

Chapter:
(p.51) 3 Going to Be Buried Right Here
Source:
Small-Town America
Author(s):

Robert Wuthnow

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691157207.003.0003

This chapter examines what people mean when they say their town offers a slow pace of life or a more authentic place in which to raise children. It is unusual in contemporary America to find anyone whose family has lived in the same small town for as long as six generations. Even in small towns the average length of residence is only nineteen years. The chapter considers the residents' reasons for living where they do and what their perceptions tell us about the changing meanings of community. It shows that residents are fully aware of the disadvantages of living in a small town, but they compensate by, for example, organizing local cultural events and traveling more frequently to cities. The chapter concludes by considering the challenges and concerns that residents talk about as they see their communities changing, such as immigration, population decline, lower standard of living, and increasing racial and ethnic diversity.

Keywords:   children, family, small towns, community, immigration, population decline, living standards, racial diversity, ethnic diversity

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