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Small-Town America by Robert Wuthnow

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Concluding Reflections

Community in Small Towns

GENERALIZATIONS ABOUT SMALL TOWNS—even when those towns are all located in the United States in the twenty-first century—bump unsteadily into bothersome exceptions almost as soon as they are made. Small communities vary in size, history, and location. They range from isolated villages on the open prairie to hilly mining communities set in dusty valleys, and from seaport towns on rocky coasts to small manufacturing centers surrounded by cornfields and cow pastures. They are not quite as diverse as they once were, having been incorporated into the national culture of discount stores and fast-food chains, and having in most instances lost their distinctive ethnic traditions. Much of that diversity ...

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