Social Life in the Country
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Social life in the country appears in the following forms, in the associations of the family group, in the recreative meetings which grow out of the experiences of labor, in the assemblies of people at the church, in casual public gatherings, not universal among country people, at the country schoolhouse, and most important of all, in the casual meetings of country people at their places of informal association. That is, country life is dependent upon the family group, the church, the school
... urch, the school and the store for associative experience. In addition to this, the effect of labor itself is seen in certain reactions in the way of recreation. Country life has been sifted by the influence of machine industry and of the railroad. The interurban trolley and other centralizing modes of transportation show that in the country there is left no way of getting a living except farming. The country community is dependent upon agriculture for its economic processes which are fundamental. Moreover, country life is dominated by labor. No other aspect of modern life is so industrialized as country life. It appears that no one, broadly speaking, has remained in the country except those who stay there for a livelihood. The more enterprising, the bolder spirits, the more active members of the population, have been tempted away by the attractions of the city, of the railroad town, of the factory and of the mine. It is true that in some sections, especially of the older states, there is the remainder of an indolent population who live in the country because of lethargy, but such conditions are not prevalent throughout the country. The striking fact on which generalization should be based is that country life has been uniformly made industrial. It presents to the observer a wide aspect of hard labor, long hours and very slight modifications in the way of recreation or social pleasure. There is no leisure, and there is no leadership, broadly speaking, in country life.