Welcome to the Center for Middletown Studies. A unit of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, the Center’s mission is to build on the body of scholarship inaugurated by Robert S. and Helen Merrell Lynd in their landmark studies Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937). These in-depth accounts of life in Muncie, Indiana, became classic sociological studies and established the community as a barometer of social trends in the United States.
The sponsors of the original Middletown investigation framed it as a “small-city study,” and that concept provides a foundation for our work. In addition to building on the scholarship about Muncie conducted by the Lynds and their many successors, we support research examining the history, present condition, and future prospects of smaller cities and towns, particularly in the American Midwest. We also emphasize community collaboration and inclusivity in the work we sponsor. You can find a sampling of current and recent projects on our research page.
Click on the Contact Us link to the left for details on how to get in touch.