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The Town

This town is intermediate between rural and urban communities. It is too large for all inhabitants to be acquainted with one’ another, yet small enough for informal relation- ,  ships to predominate. Social behavior more closely resembles the rural than the metropolitan city pattern. There is no ‘Census definition for the ~own; the ‘Classifications  settlement of over 2,500 persons as “urban  and all else as “rural.” Sociological studies  town have seldom bothered to define it, but the towns studied have never exceeded a few thousand people.’ ‘ Most towns are either county seats or rural trading centers. The county-seat towns are usually stagnant, and the rural trading towns.are usually declining as the rural farm population falls. A great many of the youth must migrate elsewhere for employment, giving
the town an abnormal population distribution .and a “dead” atmosphere. The towns showing greatest growth are those close enough to cities to become commuter suburbs, or those so located as to attract industry (having water r supply, transportation, and proximity to markets), or those there tourism, recreation, or retirement living are thriving. • The local autonomy of the small town has  eroded under the impact of the mass society.Martin-dale and Hanson [1969, p. 6] find the townspeople divided between “locals” who would like to preserve local self- sufficiency and “cosmopolitans” who would  local life to .he national economy  and the -bass society.

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