Middletown Families was first published in 1985. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Fifty years after publication of Robert and Helen Lloyd's classic studies, Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937), the Middletown III Project picked up and continued their exploration of American values and institutions. By duplicating the original studies - in many cases by using the same questions - this team of social scientists attempted to gauge the changes that had taken place in Muncie, Indiana, since the 1920s. In Middletown Families, the first book to emerge from this project, Theodore Caplow and his colleagues reveal that many widely discussed changes in family life, such as the breakdown of traditional male/female roles, increased conflict between parents and children, and disintegration of extended family ties, are more perceived than actual. Their evidence suggests that the Middletown family seems to be stronger and more tolerant, with closer bonds and greater marital satisfaction than fifty years ago. Instead of breaking it apart, the pressures of modern society may have drawn the family closer together.