ERIC Number: ED170073
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Value System, Code for Conduct and Levels of Social Interaction in a Midwestern Middle-Class American Community. Working Paper #96.
Schulz, Carol M.
An ethnographic sketch of a small, Midwestern, middle-class American community emphasizes the shared value system, the derived code of conduct and an analysis of the three levels of social interaction and their respective functions. Data were gathered over a two-year period of field work, including ten months of intensive observation of the town, a quiet, semi-rural, racially unmixed community of about 1200, with a strong Christian orientation. The community's values have given rise to a moral order that implies a basically Christian code of conduct consisting of four major principles of prescribed behavior: Fairness, Control, Doing Good Deeds, and Doing One's Best. These principles are inviolate and the high degree of social conformity in itself controls and maintains the moral order. The code is not, however, synonymous with the community's actual behavior which exists on three levels: the non-emotional, overt personal interaction level where appearances are everything, the illusion of strong social cohesion is fostered, and conflict is minimized; the covert level, e.g., gossip, where transgressions are aired; and the intimate level, where a person can "be himself". The town is described geographically, politcally, economically, and philosphically in terms of its values. (SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Purdue Univ., Lafayette, IN.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Christian Ethic; United States (Midwest)