Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society
Robert D. Putnam
Oxford University Press, Aug 15, 2002 - Political Science - 516 pages
In his national bestseller Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam illuminated the decline of social capital in the US. Now, in Democracies in Flux, Putnam brings together a group of leading scholars who broaden his findings as they examine the state of social capital in eight advanced democracies around the world.The book is packed with many intriguing revelations. The contributors note, for instance, that waning participation in unions, churches, and political parties seems to be virtually universal, a troubling discovery as these forms of social capital are especially important for empowering less educated, less affluent portions of the population. Indeed, in general, the researchers found more social grouping among the affluent than among the working classes and they find evidence of a younger generation that is singularly uninterested in politics, distrustful both of politicians and of others, cynical about public affairs, and less inclined to participate in enduring social organizations. On the bright side, social capital appears as strong as ever in Sweden, where 40% of the adult population participate in "study circles"--small groups who meet weekly for educational discussions.Offering a panoramic look at social capital around the world, this book makes an important contribution to our understanding of these phenomena.
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afﬁliation American asso association memberships associative activity Australian beneﬁts Britain century church citizens civic engagement civil society clubs conﬁdence conﬂict cooperation countries cultural decades decline democracy democratic difﬁcult economic elections electoral evidence ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁnding ﬁrst ﬁve formal forms of social Francoist Germany groups Iapanese Ibid important income increased individual inﬂuence institutions interest involvement Japan kind labor market less levels of social ment mobilization moral movement networks nonproﬁt norms organizational overall participation patterns percent percentage political parties population Princeton Putnam reﬂect religious responsibility Robert Putnam Robert Wuthnow role Roy Morgan Research sector Sidney Verba signiﬁcant social capital social trust solidarity speciﬁc structure suggest survey Sweden Swedish Theda Skocpol tions trade unions traditional trends unions United University Press voluntary associations volunteering welfare West Germany women World Values Surveys Wuthnow