Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
BOWLING ALONE warns Americans that their stock of "social capital", the very fabric of their connections with each other, has been accelerating down. Putnam describes the resulting impoverishment of their lives and communities.
Drawing on evidence that includes nearly half a million interviews conducted over a quarter of a century in America, Putnam shows how changes in work, family structure, age, suburban life, television, computers, women's roles and other factors are isolating Americans from each other in a trend whose reflection can clearly be seen in British society. We sign 30 percent fewer petitions than we did ten years ago. Membership in organisations- from the Boy Scouts to political parties and the Church is falling. Ties with friends and relatives are fraying: we're 35 percent less likely to visit our neighbours or have dinner with our families than we were thirty years ago. We watch sport alone instead of with our friends.
A century ago, American citizens' means of connecting were at a low point after decades of urbanisation, industrialisation and immigration uprooted them from families and friends. That generation demonstrated a capacity for renewal by creating the organisations that pulled Americans together. Putnam shows how we can learn from them and reinvent common enterprises that will make us secure, productive, happy and hopeful.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ddonahue - LibraryThing
The present withdrawal of the individual from social organizations now resembles the situation after WW I as depicted in Chapter IX of Eckstein's Rites of Spring, in which he describes veteran's eschewal of social commitments. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - bkinetic - LibraryThing
The data Putnam collected and analyzed represents a major achievement. Yet, after doing all that hard work he failed to go very far down some paths his data showed him. For example, more Americans are ... Read full review
CONTENTS THINKING ABOUT SOCIAL CHANGE IN AMERICA
TRENDs IN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND SOCIAL CAPITAL
Connections in the Workplace
Informal Social Connections
Altruism Volunteering and Philanthropy
Reciprocity Honesty and Trust
Education and Childrens Welfare
Safe and Productive Neighborhoods
Health and Happiness
CHAPTER 22 The Dark Side of Social Capital
WHAT Is TO BE DONE?
Lessons of History The Gilded Age and
Against the Tide? Small Groups Social Movements
Pressures of Time and Money
Mobility and Sprawl
Technology and Mass Media
From Generation to Generation
What Killed Civic Engagement? Summing Up