Finding the African Americans that Middletown Left Out: The Field Notes of a Sociologist

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The author provides journals of field work, and interviews with the African American members of a community depicted in a famous sociological study, in which they were previously ignored. Dr. Dennis lives in the community and carefully annotates his findings by reporting on the religious, political, educational, and ethnic beliefs, values, and behaviors displayed by members of the community.


In this work, Dennis provides a painstaking account of life in the field, its vagaries and rewards. What emerges is a sense of what life was like, and how ‘blacks’ in Middletown made sense of each other.”
Prof. Susan R. Trencher,
George Mason University

“Dennis is able to name what he saw in Muncie because, however modestly he presents himself in this text, he has the quiet courage to record was he sees honestly.”

Dr. Hugh Gusterson,
George Mason University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rutledge M. Denis

Preface by Susan R. Trencher

Introduction by Hugh Gusterson

Chapter 1: Entering the Field

Chapter 2: First Acquaintances

Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Community

Chapter 4: Getting Started: Student Workers, Background Research and Networking

Chapter 5: Conversations, Opinions, and Confidences

Chapter 6: Searching for Self: Religion and Conversion, Black Issues and Identity

Chapter 7: Interviewing in Earnest

Chapter 8: Wrapping Up and Leave-Taking

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