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Small-Town America by Robert Wuthnow

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Going to Be Buried Right Here

How Residents View Their Towns

“OH, WEVE TALKED ABOUT MOVING SOMEPLACE WHERE ITS warmer or to a larger community. But we have always said no to that. We were born here. Even our kids have stayed in the area. We’re going to be buried right here in this local cemetery and we’re very comfortable with that.” It just made sense to this man that his midwestern community of fifteen hundred was where he was meant to be—now and forever. He and his wife were the sixth generation of their families to live here.

But is that typical? Certainly it is unusual in contemporary America to find anyone whose family has lived in the same small town for six generations. Even in small towns the average length of residence is only ...

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