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, Bowling Alone, 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.
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... that individualistic America, often wrote expressing fear and concern about
growing social divisions and political apathy. But they also shared a sense that
they had somehow been unwitting accomplices to the unraveling of the social
highlighted examples of several successful initiatives aimed at restoring our
nation's stock of social capital.31 Bowling Alone was translated into nine
languages, and political leaders on five continents sought advice (or at least
validation) from ...
6 Even the simplest political act, voting, was becoming ever more common. ...
and sixties were hardly a “golden age,” especially for those Americans who were
marginalized because of their race or gender or social class or sexual orientation
Some of the benefit from an investment in social capital goes to bystanders, while
some of the benefit redounds to the ... When economic and political dealing is
embedded in dense networks of social interaction, incentives for opportunism
A century ago, it turnsout, Americans faced social and political issues that were
strikingly similar to those that we must now address. From our predecessors'
responses, we have much to learn—not least that civic decay like that around ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JosephKing6602 - LibraryThing
Amazing use of archival data and formal US survey information. I read the edition published in 2000; I wish it were being updates for 2020. Very timely issues about civic engagement. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jonerthon - LibraryThing
Probably the last of the older titles that has been on my reading list too long. Though it is dated in some ways, I was glad to finally get through this one and understand why so many planners have ... Read full review