May 30, 2003
Invented Names, Hidden Distortions in Social Science
"The city will be called Middletown," reads the first sentence of the second chapter of one of the most frequently cited books in contemporary social science.
Robert Staughton Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, the authors of Middletown, a Study in Contemporary American Culture, never explained why they chose not to call the city by its real name. One can nevertheless hazard an informed guess. Leftist in their political views and critical of the small-town piety that they associated with