Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work—but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, which The Economist hailed as “a prodigious achievement.”
Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans’ changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures—whether they be PTA, church, or political parties—have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm that these broken bonds have wreaked on our physical and civic health, nor had anyone exalted their fundamental power in creating a society that is happy, healthy, and safe.
Like defining works from the past, such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society, and like the works of C. Wright Mills and Betty Friedan, Putnam’s Bowling Alone has identified a central crisis at the heart of our society and suggests what we can do.
What people are saying - Write a review
Bowling alone: the collapse and revival of American communityUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Putnam (Stanfield Professor of International Peace, Harvard) probes American history to identify, interpret, and weigh the forces influencing the major drop in civic involvement that characterized ... Read full review
I don't know who the author is quoting when noting what the AARP says about it's grassroot activities. Whoever it is, does not accurately depict what goes on in Our Chapters. I am President of the Willowbrook Chapter 3862 on Staten Island,N.Y. I also serve as a Chapter Developer. of Staten Island. All 14 of the chapters here closely follow political issues, conduct our own monthly charitable activities in addition to those conducted by AARP State and National Organizations. We donate food regularly to the needy,send personal articles to soldiers overseas through Project Homefront, serve on every charitable and community service group in our area, donate money every year to a myriad of charities, etc. etc. We run a monthly social and hold meetings, in some chapters, with attendance in excess of 200 members. We have monthly guest speakers on topics such as health, education, as well as all topics related to all senior citizens. We hold monthly socials in which up to 100 people are involved in card games, board games, line- dancing lessons and quilting lessons. I would like the author to consider this and then tell us what our "social capital" value truly is today?
Tony Dellatte .Staten Island NY
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