“The View from Middletown”: The Importance of Gary Younge’s Research

BSU English would like to invite you to a talk given by Gary Younge. The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 pm in 104 Bracken. Copies of Mr. Younge’s book will be available for purchase, and he will be holding a book signing at the event. 

youngeGary Younge is a British journalist and an editor-at-large for The Guardian. He is covering the U.S. election from Muncie in a series of articles called “The View from Middletown.”  Mr. Younge has also made several radio and television documentaries on subjects ranging from the tea party to hip hop culture.

In his article, he addresses the question that many people are asking, “Why Muncie?” Mr. Younge says, “Usually when journalists cover elections they swoop into towns and then leave. We wanted to stay a while. I chose Muncie for two reasons. First, it sits in Delaware County which voted for both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the primaries. Second, because in the 1920s Muncie was the focus of an extensive sociological study into middle America called Middletown.”

Mr. Younge refers to the sociological study conducted by Robert and Helen Lynd, which concerns social trends in middle America. In the 1920s, the Lynds picked Muncie as their target for studying the lifestyle trends (voting included) of middle class citizens. You can learn more about Ball State’s efforts to continue Middletown research here.

Mr. Younge’s newest book, Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives, is now available for purchase. An online review is available from The Guardian at this link.

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