Small-Town America, by Robert Wuthnow

The popular imagination, influenced by a relentless bread-and-circus news media and entertainment culture, has a way of creating stereotypical “truths” that are more fiction than fact, limiting if not entirely erasing the histories and stories of entire peoples. Over and over this happens: to Native Americans, to most other racial and ethnic minorities, to women, to sexual minorities. As stereotypes take root in our collective mind and memory, it becomes very difficult to hear the depth and variety of people’s lived experiences, to see in others the same complexity we value in our own selves and our own histories.

 

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