Social Capital: Critical Perspectives on Community and "Bowling Alone"

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Scott L. McLean, David A. Schultz, Manfred B. Steger
NYU Press, 2002 - Political Science - 295 pages
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"Social Capital is an important crtique that should stimulate further analysis and dicussion of what constitutes community."
— New Political Science

"The reader emerges with a good sense of the gaps in Putnam's work- or more appropriately in the context of this book, the way in which the 'feelgood' factor of Putnam's work deserves critical analysis."
—Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations

This collection tackles the theme of isolation and the breakdown of mediating social institutions. It is, in part, a response to Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone as well as an attempt to create a broader idea of civil society. These original essays contribute to the examination of democratic theory and practice, exploring one of the most popular causes of this decline in public trust—social capital.

These critical essays are written by specialists and scholars in American politics and American political thought. They utilize diverse methodologies—empirical and philosophical—and multiple perspectives to examine critically the social capital discourse and how it is related to political participation, civic engagement, and American democracy.

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About the author (2002)

David Schultz is Director of the Doctoral Program in Public Administration at Hamline University.

Manfred Steger is Associate Professor of Political Science at Illinois State University.

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