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Small-Town America by Robert Wuthnow

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Contentious Issues

The Moral Sentiments of Community Life

“I DRIVE DOWN THE INTERSTATE, and there are billboards advertising all these places with totally nude dancing. Just going down the interstate! So now you’ve got a six-year-old saying, ‘Hey dad, what does that mean, totally nude?’ I’m concerned where all this is headed. Or has already gone—this ‘anything goes’ mentality.” This is the moral corruption that worries Gene Fazio, a high school basketball coach in his early fifties who lives in a riverfront town of ten thousand. On all sides, the high school is surrounded by well-kept working-class bungalows, and down the street a few blocks are the small manufacturing plants and retail stores that have been operating here for more than ...

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