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Small-Town AmericaFinding Community, Shaping the Future$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157207

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157207.001.0001

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Keep Your Doors Open

Keep Your Doors Open

Shaping the Future

(p.319) 10 Keep Your Doors Open
Small-Town America

Robert Wuthnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the future that small communities may—or may not—hold for the next generation. As residents nearly always see it, young people who grow up in small towns should go to college in order to be well prepared for whatever the future may hold. However, the reasons given along with the concerns underlying these reasons are more complex than surveys and census data reveal. Although they consider higher education critical, residents—parents and educators alike—acknowledge that there are aspects of small-town culture that make it difficult for young people to plan appropriately in order to make the most of college or university training. The chapter considers the importance of college for future planning among young people, as well as the disadvantages of living in a small town, and how community ties remain among residents.

Keywords:   young people, small towns, higher education, parents, educators, college, future planning, community ties

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