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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... during and after World WarIItoa peakof77percent in 1964.8 The fifties 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
For much of our history many people in the South, especially blacks, were
disenfranchised. To provide an accurate picture of how current voting rates
compare with those of the past, figure 1 traces presidential turnout in southern
What about trends in political participation outside the context of national
elections, especially at the local level? Until recently we lacked any systematic
evidence of long-term trends in how involved Americans are in community affairs.
Trends in numbers of voluntary associations nationwide are not a reliable guide
to trends in social capital, especially for associations that lack a structure of local
chapters in which members can actually participate. What evidence can we ...
Religious involvement is an especially strong predictor of volunteering and
philanthropy. About 75–80 percent of church members give to charity, as
compared with 55–60 percent of nonmembers, and 50–60 percent of church
What people are saying - Write a 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
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